Archive for the 'Toronto Events' Category

Day 55: Bullshit #2, Organizers should Organize.

September 20, 2009

So, basically, I tried to be nice while I was there but D&D game day at the Aurora Public Library was essentially a disaster.  I had come out to try to meet new gamers, and I did, so in that way it was a success.

But here’s some tips if you’re organizing a game event.

  1. Give a shit about whether anyone besides you has any fun.
  2. You’re expected to try to make the game better, not be a distraction.
  3. Don’t invite someone who you know will be a disruption at the table.
  4. If it’s a public library, reserve a room.
  5. A constant stream of talking might be a problem.

Now here’s the “are you fucking kidding me?” bit.   So the event was booked at the Aurora Public Library, but the organizer decided that we didn’t need to book a room.  This means the librarians have to come and threaten to kick you out – not the best atmosphere to introduce new players and make a first impression.  “Hi, I like Roleplaying Games and I’ve set up an event.  First, I’m going to make you very uncomfortable.  If you get excited about something, make sure to keep it to yourself because we need to be quiet.  I’ve also talked over the GM, disrespected the other players and the game, and acted like I’m 5 years old.  By the way, I’ll spend a good part of the game scolding my son who’s being almost as obnoxious as I am.  I don’t care whether you’re having fun.  Want to invite me to your game?”

So this manages to be Toronto Gaming Bullshit, #2, totally unplanned.

Day 41: FanExpo In A Wicked Age recap

September 6, 2009
So at FanExpo (Toronto bigass convention) on the weekend I got to play IN A Wicked Age again, this time as a player.
4 players hadn’t played IAWA before, 2 had, and the GM was a player I had introduced to the game a year ago.
The start was a little slow, and there was a bit of trying to argue success (and avoid using the dice). That was a bit off, but the GM then walked through the conflicts.  I didn’t get on the Owe List, and at the time I felt stymied but really, my guy wasn’t challenging himself – like several others, I backed off of conflict just before they went to dice.  At that point the game seemed to drag.
The GM was doing a good job, although I’m used to how I run it, with very aggriessive scene framing.  There were a couple of points with the dice explanations where I corrected her, and she gave me a very appropriate -look-.  I felt like a knob for about ten seconds, and then something… Happened.
The game lurched back onto the tracks. Suddenly all the meandering and posturing fell away. One event lead to another lead to another, and moments later, we reached a perfect chapter end.  All the frustrating
things were   It was like the game was winking at me, saying “You
thought you were screwing up, but hahaha… I shall now retroactively make the screwups into -Building Tension- to support the -Brilliant Conclusion-.
God damn, I love this game.
Cheers –ry

So at FanExpo (Toronto bigass convention) on the weekend I got to play In A Wicked Age again, this time as a player.

4 players hadn’t played IAWA before, 2 had, and the GM was a player I had introduced to the game a year ago.

The start was a little slow, and there was a bit of trying to argue success (and avoid using the dice). That was a bit off, but the GM then walked through the conflicts.  I didn’t get on the Owe List, and at the time I felt stymied but really, my guy wasn’t challenging himself – like several others, I backed off of conflict just before they went to dice.  At that point the game seemed to drag.

The GM was doing a good job, although I’m used to how I run it, with very aggriessive scene framing.  There were a couple of points with the dice explanations where I corrected her, and she gave me a very appropriate -look-.  I felt like a knob for a few minutes, and then something… happened.

The game lurched back onto the tracks. Suddenly all the meandering and posturing fell away. One event lead to another lead to another, and moments later, we reached a perfect chapter end.  It was like the game was winking at me, saying “You thought you were screwing up, but hahaha… I shall now retroactively make the screwups into building tension to support the cliffhanger ending. Roll credits.”

I love it.

Day 34: FanExpo

August 30, 2009

Holy… god… that was a lot of people.  FanExpo was so packed that they had to turn people away.  I went out to get some food, and when I came back I had to line up again – because there were so many people inside it was getting unsafe.

Here’s what it looked like after it calmed down a bit:

20090829 - Fanexpo 005

Huge success for the con.

I played in Sara’s IAWA game (which I wasn’t sure if it was going OK, and then all of a sudden it was totally awesome).   I checked out a few things, walked the Exhibitor Hall, got my food, came back, waited to get in again, and then I was basically good.  I can hardly believe FanExpo is in danger of outgrowing the convention centre.

Anyway, the punchline: FanExpo was intense, awesome, and featured lots of people playing lots of things.

Will I go next year?  Probably not.  Frankly, I’m not a huge fan of crowds, and I’m finding (lately at least) that I don’t need to go to conventions to play the games I love, or to meet new gamers.  I did both of those things, though, so my con experience was definitely a success.

Day 32: The Yellow Griffin review

August 28, 2009

So here’s a place to game:  The Yellow Griffin pub, out on the west side, near Runnymede station.

2008_03300041.JPG

(That picture’s from back in March 2008, but the place really hasn’t changed at all)

The location is very easy for transit, being basically right next to the subway.  If you’re coming by car, parking is a bit of a pain; I tend to go up one of the streets until I find a spot, and walk back a few blocks.

Here’s a map with a link:

Yellow Griffin

The Yellow Griffin hosts most of TAG’s monthly meetups, and it’s a really good venue for that.  We usually get the whole upstairs to ourselves, which is nice, although it means we don’t get much attention from the waitstaff.  That’s as much a property of the gaming as it is of the staff – we’re there to game, not get wasted, so we don’t order copious amounts of alcohol.

It’s a restaurant and bar, so you can get your food and drinks there while you game, but since it’s a restaurant and bar, there is an expectation that you buy your food and drinks there.

On the whole, the Yellow Griffin has been very accomodating of TAG and a good place to meet people and game.  The venue can hold about 30 people at max (just the upstairs, mind).

Most of all, it’s where I’ve made many friends.

FanExpo

August 14, 2009

I now have a ticket for 1 day of FanExpo. That day will probably be Saturday the 29th, and I am resolved that it will be awesome.

But I’m staying away from the main hall, except to get food. I’ll be heading to the gaming room, and staying there, and gaming.

Of  course, I’ll also be checking in with my many friends and allies from the Toronto Area Gamers.