A Book Set In Your Hometown/Region

A book set in your region?

I’m going with the novella; Jack the Giant-Killer by Charles de Lint. It’s set in Ottawa and surrounding areas to reveal a very mystical urban fantasy realm. A world where the Wild Hunt roams as bikers, a world of fae and magic. Her eyes are indeed opened to the other world and she can never go back to like it was before.

jack the giant killer

Jack The Giant Killer is the story of Jacky Rowan, living in Ottawa, On. She breaks up with her boyfriend and discovers a very mysterious world that basically hides in plain sight in the world we live in.

One evening Jacky witnesses a group of faceless bikers tormenting an old fellow. Though, she discovers that all is not what it seems. In fact, this encounter leads her down a path where she discovers a whole new world.

Jacky Rowan becomes know as Jack of Kinrowan and is task with rescuing a young child from the Unseelie Court. It’s a fascinating tale with references to areas that I have been and some that I want to see if imagine the scenes unfolding with my minds eye. Sort of a walking tour of the story.

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Yikes!

I know, I know, I’ve been slacking with the blog post these past couple of weeks. So, I’m going to have a day of catching up on stuff. I have some game scenarios to blog up and a few other things to get caught up on as well; for instance my 2018 Ultimate Reading Challenge posts too.

pexels-photo-952594.jpegIt’s been a busy few weeks for me.

I had to take a step up from being simply an assistant director, and into the directors chair for a couple of weeks, since there is circumstances beyond our control that is happening. For me, it’s a learning process and I’m learning as I go along and it’s good to have a producer there who knows what she is doing.

For me it’s like being a deer in headlights, since I’m scared and I really don’t know what to do. I’ve been in so many productions and have seen many directors and their styles of directing, and when push comes to shove it’s one of the scariest things that I have to do.

I was planning on watching and learning how it’s done with a seasoned director, but due to a personal matter she had to take a break for a couple of weeks, and will hopefully be back to take over the reigns in a bit.

The play is coming along nicely and the actors are getting into their characters, a partial set has been built and needs to be finished, and the tech crew is learning as they go. This is a whole new ballgame for me that’s for sure.

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A Book Published In the 20th Century

I Heard The Owl Call My Name is written by Magaret Craven was written in 1967 and was first published by Clarke Irwin and Co. Ltd in Toronto, ON. The edition I picked up is a Totem edition published in 1975 by Pan Books Ltd.

This is the edition that I remember reading back in elementary school back in the mid 70’s. If I recall correctly it was one of four books to choose from to write a book report on. I Heard The Owl Call My Name intrigued me because it was about an indigenous tribe in British Columbia.

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The story is about a young Anglican priest who is dying, but he is sent to a native village int he wilds of British Columbia.

Mark Brian, is the priests name and he has an experience that really changes his outlook on life in general. Hunting and fishing, celebrating in festivals and experience a funeral which transpires his own understanding of his upcoming death.

The title refers to an Indian legend of upon hearing an owl call your name it’s a warning of imminent death. Mark knows his time has come but it’s a sudden surprise that effects the villagers in this remote community in British Columbia.

It was good to read a novel that I haven’t read in over four decades. Back then it was just an assignment book report and I remember I got 83% grade for it because I misspelled the name of the tribe twice in it. Now, re-reading after all these years it’s a great Canadian classic and it stills stirs emotional feeling at the end of it.

If you should ever run across a copy of it, you should give it a read.

I recommend it.

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The Best Laid Plans of Dice & GM

… often go awry.

For the past three Game Night events being held in town it’s been a wash for me, after promoting it on social media and urging some friends to come out and give it a whirl, and also gives someone a chance to take a seat at my game table and see how I run my games.  But, alas it wasn’t in the cards to be doing so.

The January Game Night saw me continue on with the second Unknown Armies adventure that I had done.  The December Game Night  had a few new players at the table and playing some UA. That night we were hit by a ton of snowfall and that played a factor on people showing up to do some gaming. Only one player arrived for the session and we decided not to continue on and ended up playing some Munchkin. Munchkin is a very cool card game by Steve Jackson Games and illustrated by John Kovalic. We played a couple of rounds and it was a pretty battle going on.

February Game Night I had written up a D&D 5e adventure.  A few people inquired about it and I thought it was a good thing to do and get some people playing. And also there was some interest expressed on the social media and I thought there might be a little turnout for that one. But, I thought wrong thanks to Mother Nature who decided to freeze rain on my parade.

The most recent March Game Night event I had prepped a classic TSR RPG set in the Conan The Barbarian world.  The problem was that I slept in from a nap. I got up and contacted the fellow who was running the Game Night event and he informed me that no one had shown up for the role playing but the 40K guys were there and playing a battle. Which was pretty good to know.

I was thinking of heading over and just hanging around a bit, but I decided to do some work on a Roll20 Gamma World 1e scenario. I got some players interested in doing a VTT game in that setting and I’m looking forward to running it.

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ROLL FOR INITIATIVE

This weekend was TimCon 2018.

I decided to hold a one day convention in honour of GaryCon that was going on over the weekend. What better way to celebrate a convention you couldn’t get to by holding a convention in honour of that convention?

Eeek, I think that I better lay off the coffee.

With an attendance of two (myself and my dog, Rory). I ran a panel on dungeon designing 101. Basically drawing up a map of a tavern for my TSR Conan Role Playing Game adventure that I have been working on. Rory couldn’t even be bothered to pay attention so he spent the morning snoozing at my feet as I drew up a multi-level pyramid style dungeon.

After working out a few ideas and making a couple of levels for an underground complex, it all began to come together and with an even more epic story arc than I originally started out with. I do hope to run it either at a convention or even onto a VTT setting.

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After a little break of playing “Angry Birds – Friends” it was back to convention business.

I went on line to Roll20 to work on my “The Lost Starport” adventure for the 1st edition Gamma World Science Fantasy Role Playing Game.  I have a crew of players ready to explore a re-working of the mini-module that can be found in the original GM screen for the RPG.

As you can tell I do love me some Gamma World. Once the Starport was done and the overland map nearly finished. It was time to take a break. Well, a nap break. Because as you get older you appreciate nap time.

In the afternoon the attendance was still two, I worked on some ideas to flesh out the Queen of the Dragon Hoard and a possible of juicy plot hooks to get the characters entangled up in. Rory meanwhile moved into the living room and onto his bed. This time he was serious about his napping! No cold floor for him.

As the afternoon waned on, it was time to tidy up and prepare for the regularly scheduled game night.

TimCon wrapped up with an epic adventure as a few players showed up to continue on the D&D 5e quest “Hoard of the Dragon Queen” and they made the trek from Greenest to Elturel with a little stops in between. This will be blogged later.

Maybe next year TimCon will be a little bigger.

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A Book That Became A Film

This weeks 2018 Ultimate Reading Challenge had me thinking of quite a few books to read. They’re hundreds of books that have been made into movies. I was either going to find a book I haven’t read but saw the movie, but then I decided to read a book I haven’t read in a long time and see if it lived up to my memories of it.

So, I decided to revisit a classic and give Stephen King’s The Shining a re-read. I think it was 1978-79 when I first read it. I was on a huge Stephen King kick after reading The Stand and I hunted down Salem’s Lot, Carrie, and Night Shift to read that summer as well.

The Shining bookWhen I first read the book and saw this cover, which look a heckuva lot like Warren Beatty.  So I pictured Warren Beatty as John Torrance while I read through it. The writing and the depiction of the events happening played pretty horrific in the theatre of the mind’s eye.

It was a year or so later that the movie adaptation of the novel would hit the screens, and it was being directed by Stanley Kubrick that made the anticipation to see it even more.

The novel is a pretty good story which I really dog. The film adaptation of this novel changed drastically and the story line was basically the same but the characters altered to fit Kubrick’s vision of the story. So, I really enjoyed it once again on another level.

I look both the book and the movie.  Each of them stand out in their own medium. The book is a page turner while the movie is a edge of your seat visionary journey. Which I can admire them for what they are.

Re-reading this book is something I’ve should of done a while since it’s like visiting with an old friend.

 

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Hoard of the Dragon Queen – Thief In The Night

A Tyranny of Dragons  5e Campaign (Side Trek)
Game Session: March 3rd 2018

Cast of Characters:
Harbek Dankil, a dwarf barbarian (Darryl)
Lander Lakeman, a human wizard (Chance)

GM NOTE: Here be spoilers for those who haven’t played the Tyranny of Dragons campaign.

After exploring the dragon hatchery and finding some maps and a letter, our heroes make the trek back to Greenest. They inform Governer Nighthill of what is happening and he tells them that Leosin Erlenthan has left to Eturnel to meet with Ontarr Frume.  But, tonight the gang is giving a heroes welcome for dealing with the raiders; and eliminating the threat in the area once and for all. As the town celebrates a much needed victory against the raiders and toasts “Bardied’s Bunch” on their victory.

Landen and Harbek stay at the tavern, as Bardied and Linan disappear, Sheng goes of to a temple to meditate for a bit as Talesin wanders off and inspect the farms and see if anyone needs his assistance.

Dawn of a new day in Greenest as the town starts getting back to business as usual and waiting for various shipments to arrive and stock businesses with supplies, food and other wares. Landen and Harbek meet in the common room of the inn, for some breakfast and it seems Harbek celebrated to hard the night before and now is paying the price for it as his feel like someone had crawled in and now hammering to get out. Landen spots a young fellow sitting in a corner booth and starting around the tavern, he seems to be eyeing up the patrons.There’s an elderly gentleman sitting at the bar as well and he’s sipping a mead and keeping to himself.

Landen sent Harbek out on an errand, to get a map of the area (if he can possible find one) and also asks to inspect the shield he had as well since there seems to be something of particular interest to him as well. Harbek sets out as Landen gathers his stuff and heads back up to his room, even though he hasn’t learned detect magic he plans on doing it ritualistic and it will take longer to do.

Harbek goes to a general store and asks for a map of the area and to his surprise they have one for him. Since he is here he decides to pick up a few items and equipment they might need for the journey to Eturel.

In his room Landen lays out a pendant, two rings and the shield that Harbek had. Landen hears the creaking of the door and he says “Well that didn’t take you long to get…” and that’s when the lights go out for Landen as he get’s sapped to the head.

Harbek enters the inn as the young fellow who was sitting in the booth this morning is leaving in a hurry. Nearly knocking him and the elderly gentleman who was standing by the door. Harbek makes his way up stairs to the room and sees that the door is wide open and Landen fighting his way back from unconsciousness. Harbek inquires as to what happen and Landen looks around the floor and sees that the items he had lain out to be identified are now missing.

Harbek tells him that a young lad was rushing out the inn just as he was entering, it seemed like the young lad was in a hurry to leave town. Harbek is miffed since the shield he had loaned to Landen to identify is now missing. Landen grabs his remaining gear and both of them head down stairs, and give a quick glance around to see if the young lad returned; but that is not to be.

Landen rushes outside and looks for a forked twig as it is one of the components for a locate object spell. When the spell is cast he hones in on the shield but alas it must be out of the spells range. He enters the inn and asks the innkeeper did anyone leave in a hurray, and the innkeeper stats he wasn’t paying attention to who comes and goes.

Harbek goes around to the stables and asks one of the stablehands if they anything weird. A young lad says he saw a young man buy a horse from an old man and then road off in a hurry toward the south. Harbek runs to the inn and calls for Landen and tells them they need to head south now in order to catch up with the brigand who stold their stuff.

The old man standing by the inn adds is that why the young man paid double for my horse? To head south after robbing you guys?

Landen screams “Damn brigands!” and he mutters something under his breath.

Harbek looks around and spots a wagon that had come in this morning and is in the process of unloading goods to the general store, he goes running up and states that in the name of Governer Nighthill that he taking the wagon for a specific task. Harbek yells for Landen to jump on and then he whips the horses into a frenzy as the speed through Greenest heading south. Landen holds on for dear life, as he also flips through his spell book to see what spell he can use to do most pain on the brigand before it’s breath escapes from him.

Harbek shouts for people to clear the way.

Several miles out from town they see a fellow camped out in a field, he seems to be surprised to see a wagon speeding towards him but he doesn’t move.The young fellow is not wanting any trouble. The harsh tones from Harbek as they approach sends a deep chill down his spine. The young lad is startled to discover that he is being accused of stealing items. He tells them he bought the horse fare and square from a fellow traveler.  The young lad says that upon hearing that a green dragon had attacked Greenest and that there were a huge raiding party of demi-human creatures and cultist in the area, he thought it was best to flee town.

Harbek asks why did he pay double the price for the horse, the lad tells him he had bought it for only 10 gold. Landen realized they’ve been hoodwinked good! They apologize to the young lad and tell him that he is no safer out here since there are still roving bands of raiders about before they head back to town.

As they return back to town, the old fellow who was hanging around had left town just as the characters were heading south. Landen and Harbek return to the inn, and prepare to get a days rest and gather up the rest of the gang so they can head to Eturel to meet with Leosin. They rent out rooms for the evening and Landen taking precautions this night and sets a trap on his door before he rolls out the map that Harbek brought and he takes out the parchment of a scribbled map and column of numbers in a row.

He begins to see something in the numbers and the way the columns are and studies the map as well. He thinks if he had a key or a legend then it would be easier to understand. But, he thinks he has deciphered “Greypeak Mountains” and “The Meer of Deadmen” are locations and to understand what it all means. Cult numbers? Number of gold coins collected? the weight of magic items? distance as the crow flies… or the dragon in this case? Harbek interjects as well and they banter back and forth about what this map they found in the hatchery coincides with the map of the area?

Landen proceeds to study further as Harbek heads out to round the others. They decide to take everything with them to Eturel and see if Leosin can make sense of it all.

GameDay Feb32018

 

 

 

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