Friday, May 15th
I had to work this morning. That meant getting up at 5:15 am as usual and going to work. I managed to get back home around 12:15 or so, and had to do lunch, start packing the various stuff for the convention, and make sure I had my meds and my glucometer with me. Good thing I finally remembered to pack the gaming stuff for the first night's run of SkyRealms of Jorune, too! After getting a lift to CanGames with spross, arrived at CanGames in the Rideau Curling Club about 2:30 pm. spross was able to find a decent parking space, about two blocks from the convention space. I saw that the convention had a gorgeous new placard/sign outside the entrance of the curling club (forgot to get SteveR to take a photo of this during the weekend). It's not bad, and a much better thing than they've had for the last few years of the convention to note that it's there, so this was a good thing.
spross and I hauled all the gaming stuff into the convention site, and things were already pretty lively. The first games of the convention start around 2:00 pm, so it was already somewhat noisy. I left my stuff on one of the large wooden tables that would be used for at-convention sign-up for games, and saw that there were already four RPGs underway nearby, and several miniature games already going out on the curling sheets area. I went to the Tournament Desk to get my registration packet (as per the e-mail that I had received three days before). The CanGames booklet for this year was a nice shade of purple (odd for a gaming convention with the theme "Wolves at the Gates" but what the hey...), and saw that it was filled with extra sheets: cut-away sheets of the games I was running, an extra page of programming (replacement sheet, as I learned later), some ballots, and a few other odds and ends.
I left the box with the gaming stuff that I wanted to sell at the CanGames Booth on the table, and took the rest of my stuff down to the lockers area, and popped it into one of the lockers down there, adding my own lock. (I wasn't worried about the box, as folks at CanGames are pretty good at helping each other out, and keeping an eye on stuff when one has to leave it for a short time.) I carried my water bottle and my old Basilisk Dreams tote bag (with a book, my glucometer, and a BDB mug with tea bags, and a few other things) with me upstairs (would carry these two constantly with me for the duration of the convention). After spross had done the same, we went back up, and picked up the forms for the selling of stuff (cost of $1.00 for each item to be sold). spross decided to buy the copy of Diana: Warrior Princess off me right there for $10.00 (should have asked for more, but he's a friend, so...). If everything manages to sell, I'll make about $80.00, minus the CanGames 10% commission.
I spent the next two and a half or so hours wandering around, watching games, and catching up with a few friends and acquaintances. All the usual suspects were there, and I met a few new, interesting people as well. (And no, please don't ask me for any names!). The folks from the Warwick Games club were there already, some of them playing a very neat game called Ingenious, one of the games that I keep meaning to buy, but never seem to get around to for some reason. Really odd. :( Anyway, spross seemed intrigued enough at the strategies involved with the game that I thought I'd make an effort at trying to find a copy in the Dealers Room on Saturday. At some point around 4:30 pm or so, I meandered back to the Tournament Desk to check on the pre-registration for my game of Jorune that night. I was disappointed to find that there were no pre-registers for the game, but not surprised; it's tough at times finding enough players for the Friday night games. However, I saw with pleasure that there were 2 folks signed up for the Saturday Desolation rpg game, 2 folks for Saturday night's game of SkyRealms of Jorune, and one person signed up for Sunday's game of Desolation. Very pleased at this, overall.
I had been talking to a young fellow (young by my standards, anyway!), and he decided to join us for dinner. Around 5:00 pm, spross and I ordered Swiss Chalet chicken for delivery. I could have eaten at the cafeteria level in the curling club, since they open that for the CanGames weekend, but this year's menu didn't have anything that I really wanted, and nothing really good for me with the diabetes. The food didn't show up until 6:05 pm, and that didn't leave a lot of time to sit back and relax over dinner. The food wasn't that great, to be honest, as there was too much humidity in the baked potato and all because of the way they had packed it, but the salad was pretty good with their balsamic vinaigrette, but what can you do? I washed the food down with my diabetes meds.
I went to the designated table around 6:30 pm, and started setting up the SkyRealms of Jorune game for play. Since there were no pre-registered players, I went up to the sign-up tables to do some recruiting; I had a hunch, and took the SoJ rulebook with me. That did the trick! I managed to con :) five folks into playing the game, as they were hooked by the art on the cover of the 3rd Edition rulebook. All guys, which would make playing the two female characters of the five...interesting. On my way back to the gaming table, I stumbled across thebitterguy; I had known that he was coming to the convention. I would have loved to have stayed and chatted for a bit, but had to get back to the game and get ready for the arrival of the players and all.
The game of SkyRealms of Jorune went pretty well. The player characters for the game were Josim Klepf (a miner), Berida Jermos (a female farmer/trader), Ferdis Glimpole (a Burdothian cavalryman), Kharkek Flippute (a guide), and Haydi Nazzhjul (a female Caji). There were definitely some funny moments to the game. For example, while fighting the badger analogues, three badgers leapt onto Berida's back while she was trying to run and mount her thombo (a riding animal). The guy playing her decided to just fall off the thombo, some 15 feet to the ground, and killed the badger things by crushing them under the character's weight! Ickky, but funny! :> In the early part of the scenario, the characters had a devil of a time going into Ossat Hinday's (the man they were trying to find) home, out of fear of what might happen when they saw some flitting shadows inside (they were scavenging animals!)...lovely stuff. At the end of the scenario, the fellow playing Ferdis sacrificed his life to prevent the nasty thriddle from killing the party before he had the alien vessel they were on set course and depart from Jorune. He died a heroic death, hit by a fusion rifle blast, as his favourite weapon, the 1-handed sword, clattered to the deck of the ship. It was great stuff. The game wrapped up about 15 minutes early, which wasn't a bad thing. Every single one of the players told me that they loved the game, found the game world itself fascinating, and very alien, but that the world was a very intense experience. Still, it is something that I would consider running again at CanGames, if the interest were there.
spross had been running his Star Wars game for the evening, so after we met up, I went over to the Tournament Desk and cashed in my player log for the $5 voucher that GMs get. This year, the vouchers were the medallions from the 30th Anniversary CanGames, so that was pretty cool. I really do wish that they would give GMs an actual discount on the convention membership instead, but that's another matter. I went downstairs to wash my face and hands and grab my stuff out of the locker.
spross dropped me off at my house around 11:10 pm. Given that I had had to work that morning, I was exhausted after this really long day, but I wanted to finish off these notes before I crashed out for the night. Besides, I had to restock the Jorune characters and get the bag with the Desolation stuff for the next day ready, refill the water bottle and freeze that, and make snacks for the next day. 10:00 am was going to come way too early for my taste...
And that's the Friday at CanGames. Hope folks enjoyed the read. Saturday will be covered in one of the next posts.