Gaming Night in Canada: Halloween Game Night!
By Todd Secord
So, on my birthday in September, after a few bevies, apparently I suggested that we should do a Halloween themed game night. Y’know, like when we were plenty younger and doing that kind of thing was way cooler than, let’s say, being at Halloween parties with girls. As it would work out, we always reserved Halloween night for a game night. If it wasn’t a horror filled theme of D&D, than we would let our buddy Lee take us through some Call of Cthulhu. Sitting around his family’s dining room table, in a house built specifically to play Cthulhu in, with fully stocked bookshelves all around us (his father was a professor) and lit candles adding to the creepy atmosphere, we did our best not to go insane, which, other than death, is the game’s primary no-no. On the radio in the background was CFNY’s Chris Sheppard’s Club 102, hitting up the likes of Skinny Puppy’s “Smothered Hope”, Ministry’s “Every Day is Halloween”, and of course, the Halloween classic of all Halloween classics, the Bauhaus tune “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”.
Snapping out of that trip down memory lane, and a group e-mail later, and James agreed to run D&D this Halloween. As the e-mails shot back and forth, the ante began to up as the idea of having a costume party was thrown in, and then my nephew called me up and finally gave the word that he wanted to learn to play D&D.
The plans had been set. Bring on the hunt for Halloween costumes…
I knew just the place; Amazing Party and Costume, “Canada’s Largest Party Store”. Funny thing is, I’ve driven by it for what feels like my entire adult life, and yet I’ve never gone in. Well, this Halloween was going to be different. And sweet wrongfully persecuted witches of Salem, it did not disappoint. This place is easily the last word in all things costume. Like, film industry people must come here because this warehouse of glorious dream making has something for everyone.
Just rolling up on the place was inspiring. What Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth* is to Christmas, Amazing has to be to Halloween. I’ve been to Frankenmuth by the way, albeit when I was a kid, and yes, we went around Christmas time and let me tell you, Santa lives. However, this is Halloween, so let the fake blood runneth over. Oh, wait a minute! There’s Santa now!
Bob is a big fan of Wolverine. No matter how elaborate the costumes were going to get, Bob had to be Wolverine. Of course there was the full costume, which Bob was not a fan of, but after trying on a mask or two, and looking at the selection of claws they offered (OMG, bone versions too!) Bob was set.
After wondering around delirious for an hour or so, we scooped up our purchases and waited in the long line to the checkout…to a full animatronic zombie diner scene. Eat your heart out Disneyworld, literally.
The game night itself was kick ass. Some of us had kept our costumes secret, and trust me, we took pictures of every body, but unfortunately most were just too blurry. My fault, but the costumes were great. Last entry, we talked of Mario and his new-fangled Steampunk fascination. At Amazing they actually had a Steampunk section. Of course they did.
James had promised everyone that he was going to wear a hat like Mario’s. We got all excited that he was going Steampunk as well, that way Mario would have someone to talk to, but instead James showed up in a Super Mario hat. Classic misdirection. Yes sir!
After a few drinks, some Goat Cheese Brie with olive loaf from Cobb Bread (Hey Tracey and Mike!), pizza, and of course, Halloween chocolate we sat down to Ignite our Imaginations**. It was a scary affair as our intrepid group of heroes found themselves matching wits and swords with a diabolically evil mage who was awesome in commanding minions of a Halloween theme – namely werewolves and a flesh golem/Frankenstein.
Actually, things got pretty intense as it began to look like we weren’t going to survive this thing. Rob was put out of action 4 times(!!!) because teamwork. I was the sticky defender dude who always seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and Kelly was doing the striker thing and hitting everything with advantage, but rolling ones for damage. Meanwhile, Bob actually entered the thick of the fight for once, and only missed once, which eventually helped to turn the tide of battle. It was a close one!
Everyone had a great time, including my better half who is a rookie, but discovered that she is a true slayer, and my nephew who was so impressed with his first game that he is going to start running sessions with the Pathfinder Beginner’s box that I got him for his birthday.
Lastly, I don’t think it would be much of a Halloween for JK if I didn’t post this…
Cheers and a Happy Halloween everyone! And a heartfelt blessing to friends and family of Fiery Dragon who faced storm Sandy these past few days. Hope all is as well as it can be – our prayers are with you and all those that are having a tough time in the east.
Next: Must Have Dice Towers. Yes, customized dice towers!
*That’s Frankenmuth, Michigan. We actually drive by it when we head down to Gen Con. And yes, in keeping with the Halloween vibe, Frankenmuth means “Courage of the Franconians”, while Frankenstein apparently means “Stronghold of the Freeman”. Just for the record. ed.
**A play of words on an original by-line of Fiery Dragon, Trade Marked by us. ed.