Sunday, May 20th
Woke up on Sunday morning around 7:45 am, as I was quite tired when I got in from the convention last night, and so managed to catch about 6-1/2 hours of sleep last night. I didn't feel too bad, other than the back aching mildly and the broken toes throbbing and hurting somewhat. I got out of bed, and was looking forward to running All For One: Régime Diabolique again today (if any players show up) and to seeing what I have sold games-wise at the CanGames Booth.
Went upstairs after washing hands and face, and ate breakfast. Scrambled eggs with some onions and cheese, and then took care of the morning ablutions around 8:53 am. spross was coming around 10:00 am to pick me up, so after showering and dressing, I made sure that all the gaming stuff was ready to go, made sure to have the CanGames sales form receipts with me, made a bagel with cream cheese and some celery for the afternoon snack, and then managed to read for about ten minutes before spross arrived.
SteveR came by and after loading the car with the games and all, we went to Subway and picked up lunch for the day. From there, we headed downtown for the convention venue. Both of us were a little bit surprised when spross was able to park the car less than a block from the Rideau Curling Club, so it was an easy walk carrying all the gaming stuff for AFO: RD; good thing, too, because I was still tired and in pain, and stumbled a couple of times as we walked.
When we entered the curling club, I realised that I had forgotten the padlock for the locker and was pretty annoyed at myself. spross said he'd split his locker with me, and we were able to put the games that we were running (as he was running Mekton Zeta again this afternoon) and our jackets in the locker. We went upstairs and into the Marketplace again, and checked the booths out once more. At the CanGames Booth, I saw that I had sold some more of my gaming stuff, but not as much as I had hoped. I lowered the prices by cutting them down by $10 to $15 on the remaining items, but was quite frustrated. I managed to get three more sets of 20 each of the red beads for use as Threat markers for the Primeval RPG from the kind lady at Geek Etc., and was pleased about this.
My thighs were bothering me a bit by this time, so I went back to sit in the main convention area, and talked to several convention people about stuff that I can't mention here. Also spoke to a fellow whose name I can't remember about the iPad (as he had an iPad 1) and its gaming use and functionality, and have been convinced that perhaps I should pick up an earlier model for myself if I can find it relatively cheap. I went up to the Tournament Desk and found that only my friend Douglas was registered for the afternoon game of All For One: Régime Diabolique, and was pretty sad about this.
Since by this time it was time for lunch, spross and I went upstairs to the intermediate level that looks out on the curling sheet area for lunch, but the tables were full, so we descended down to the lockers area and a couple of empty game tables down there and ate out Subway sandwiches. It was cooler down there anyway, and much more comfortable.
After lunch, spross grabbed the gaming stuff for the afternoon out of the locker for both of us, and we went upstairs. After putting stuff on the table and setting up the basics of the GM Screen and stuff for All For One: Régime Diabolique, it was around 1:25, and I was determined to get the players to fill out the game. Once the sign-up sheets were out, I managed to convince a family consisting of a mother, father, their son, and 11-year-old daughter to play the game, as well as another fellow who was quite intrigued by the game. Took me less than five minutes after the sign-up sheets went out. Yay, me! :) spross was running
his game at the table next to me, and I saw that unfortunately, he was only able to get three players to play, but decided to carry on. Good for him. :)
The game of All For One: Régime Diabolique that I was running was the same adventure that I ran on Saturday afternoon, "Une Abondance de la Folie" (An Abondance of Madness), so I won't go into any basic detail of the adventure and the player characters again (you can read about that in the Day 2 post). Once the players were all seated at the table and ready to go, I started the game.
I was interrupted in the game only once, and that was by thebitterguy, who wanted to make me a deal on some of the Hellas gaming stuff that I was selling at the CanGames Booth. I did so as quickly as possible, wrote out a note for him that modified a price so he could take that back to the staff at the booth, and then got back to the game.
While I'm not going into detail about the scenario for obvious reasons, since I will run it at other conventions and demonstrations in the future, I'll discuss some of the game elements here. Bear this in mind, and there are obviously SPOILER WARNINGS for the game material below.
After sitting down at the table, the players chose their characters for the game, and the little girl (whom we'll call "Carrie" here) surprised me by taking on Esmerelda Rinaldo Monachon, the Gypsy diviner. Douglas took the former criminal, Albert Tremblay, not a surprise to me to be honest. Carrie's mom took the other female character, Angelique Cloisson, and the other players all chose characters from the three that were left. I went through the basics of the game system, answered any questions the players might have, spoke to Carrie and her mom about stuff specific to the Divination abilities, and got started with the game. Other than Douglas, none of the players had played the Ubiquity system before, but they all handled the game rules and mechanics well, and found them easy and intuitive to work with. What follows are just impressions and notes about various things and snippets from the "Une Abondance de la Folie" game for All For One: Régime Diabolique.
After receiving the job at hand, the player characters took a bit too long with the investigative sequence about the victims of the temporary madness, though there was some interesting roleplaying sequences during this bit. Carrie was really quite bright - she was the one who realised that the common element was the *BLEEP!*, and in actual fact she figured out most of the plot in the first hour, but had no proof! When her mother explained that they needed to prove what was going on and find out who was responsible, Carrie got excited about the prospect! Because of the time constraints and some of the good roleplaying that the players did during the early part of the investigations, I had to gloss over the interviews with the madness victims outside of Paris, but the players took this well, and it confirmed their beliefs.
The fellow, Gary, who played Philippe Almerac, the vain Musketeer, did a marvellous job primping and being vanity inspired during the course of the game, and kept it up for the entire four-hour run, even primping a little bit during the combat sequences, making sure to keep his clothes clean and tidy. Lovely stuff. :) The sequence in the Parisian cheese shoppe went quite well, and the party handled themselves very nicely in the fight sequence, catching on to the All For One: Régime Diabolique combat system and using their Fencing abilities for the most part. Douglas attempted to have Albert fling a wheel of cheese at one of his opponents, but failed the roll miserably and saw it miss the target by quite a bit. The fellow playing Armand took a nasty burn from a *BLEEP!* touch attack, and played this injury out (it didn't heal) really well the rest of the game and adventure. Carrie was quite insightful in her play of Esmerelda ("You're my friends so you can call me 'Esme', but I think I make everyone else call me 'Esmerelda'."), and asked some really interesting questions when using her Divination. I had told her that the visions she would get when asking questions would be vague, and she loved the stuff I gave her - notably a hazy image of King Louis XIII in the foreground with Paris burning in the background behind him, and an "oueil enflamé" (a black circle with fire in it, surrounded by a brown circle, surrounded by a white circle). The final struggle with the villain of the piece and his *BLEEP!* minions went extremely well, though felt a bit rushed to me as it was drawing time to wrap up the scenario before the final CanGames ceremonies started at 6:00 pm. The players were able to piece together what needed to be done, Carrie figuring it out first, and once it was over and done, the scenario wrapped up quite tidily.
Overall, the game of All For One: Régime Diabolique went really well, somewhat better in a few regards than the Saturday afternoon one, and the players were quite pleased with the game. Carrie was interesting to have at the table, and even though I had to sanitize a few element of the game because of the 11-year-old's presence, the game went well. She was aided at the game table by her mother for the most part, but I had no objection to that, and she was pretty well-behaved at the gaming table. The other players all had a good time and told me they enjoyed the game, and liked the simplicity and intuitive nature of the game rules, and that the system kept much to the background, thus allowing the roleplaying to shine through. I was glad they all had a good time.
By the time I finished running the game, it was just a little after six o'clock and the main area of the convention was being set up for the CanGames ceremonies. By that time, spross had finished his game and packed up, and started to take his gaming stuff out to the car. I packed up the gaming stuff rather quickly, with Douglas's assistance, and once that was done, SteveR grabbed my stuff as well and took it out to the car. I grabbed another bottle of water at the bar, and settled in with the others to watch the CanGames Ceremonies. Jennifer Rothwell (President of CanGames 2012), Anita Hebert (the Chair), and the other staff did a superb job with the ceremonies and the handing out of door prizes and CanGames trophies for the games played, and managed to keep it down to around 40 minutes. Tremendous!
After the ceremonies were done and the crowds cleared out, I went up to the Cash Desk to find out if the monies and receipts for sales at the CanGames Booth were complete, but Jennifer told me that they needed another 20 minutes or so. spross, Douglas, and I went out onto the curling sheet area where the games that weren't bought at the CanGames Booth were left, and I was a bit surprised to find too many things left over there from the stuff I had put up. I told the CanGames staffer there that I was donating the stuff left over to the convention, and he was quite pleased with that. spross and I returned to the main area and the Cash Desk, and Jennifer had the receipts and all. I cashed out there (and no, I'm not going to tell you how much money I made, but it was a good figure!), but then learned that one of my game books had gotten swiped. Informing Jennifer, I was told that CanGames would reimburse me the money, and I just went in search of a confirmation note and signature to this effect, which took me about twenty minutes.
By this time, I was pretty hungry as was spross, so after saying goodbye to lots of friends, chatting with Jennifer about next year's convention and the food issues at this one, and generally wandering a bit, SteveR and I took off from this year's edition of CanGames. spross and I had decided this year that we were going to go eat Chinese food, instead of the usual Swiss Chalet stuff, so we went over to Brother Wu's, a restaurant on St. Laurent that I haven't been into in years. The restaurant wasn't too crowded, but I was totally surprised by the fact that the owner recognised me after all these many years, even going so far as to inquire about the bookstore (which I closed in 2004!). We settled in at the table, and enjoyed a meal of a bowl of won ton soup, an order of gow tien, sizzling beef on a platter, mu shee (sp?) chicken, a buddha's delight vegetable plate, and some steamed rice, all washed down with some jasmine tea. Excellent food! Will definitely have to go back there again.
By the time we finished dinner, we were both contentedly full. spross dropped me off at my house around 9:30 or a quarter to ten or so, and helped me take the gaming stuff into the house. By this time, the adrenaline of the day was starting to wear off, and the pain in my back and toes was...pretty bad. I took a couple of Tylenol, and then finished off a few notes about the Sunday games before heading for an early night in bed. Needless to say, I couldn't sleep once more! *sigh*
And there you have it - my three-post report on CanGames 2012, and the rpgs I ran at the convention. Overall, it was a pretty good convention, tiring as per usual, and a somewhat painful time for me (but not as bad in that respect as 2011's). (I may write an impressions of the con post as well, but we'll see). I think I had a pretty good time at the convention, regardless.
Hope folks enjoyed these reports of the convention. :) Comments, thoughts, and questions would be welcome. :)