Cthulhu Calls!

I’ve been playing role-playing games on computers all my life, but I have never before played an actual tabletop role-playing game – aka pen-and-paper. That is, I did make a feeble attempt some 10+ years ago to form a small group to play either Ars Magica or Warhammer Fantasy (both of which I had actually bought rulebooks for), but that plan went nowhere fast and ever since I’ve kept a careful distance to the entire concept for reasons unbeknownst to me .

Yesterday however, I finally bit the bullet and joined a Call of Cthulhu-campaign consisting of three complete and utter newbies (myself included) and two veterans – all of us Funcommies. Our first session naturally consisted of having the basic system and rules explained to us newbies by the veterans, while we methodically hand-crafted a group of characters that roughly seemed to fit the time-period and setting we decided on (London sometime in the 1920s).

Our characters were, for what I presume were background/plot reasons, supposed to be connected to each other, whether by blood or through professional relations. In the end we wound up with a group consisting of a huge, old lady running an antique shop, her nephew the dashing lawyer/accountant (my character!), a brute of a dockworker/mechanic who sometimes does the odd job for the old lady, and finally a collector of ancient coins/expert of ancient languages who incidentally was also the friend of the old lady’s husband (missing, presumably dead) and the client of my character the lawyer.

Call of Cthulu dice
Call of Cthulu-specific dice from q-workshop.com

While we didn’t get any further than creating our characters (and thus our group) during that first session, I think we’re all (including the GM) exited about the possibilities that our seemingly unconventional group of characters present us with for our next session(s), where we’ll hopefully get the chance to put our newborn characters in harms way.

Now, to find out where in Montreal I can buy a decent set of dice… and a rubber sword-in-a-cane! And a white wig!

Canadian Summer

A couple of months ago – back in early June – I was offered a position at Funcom Montreal, in Canada. The position is the exact same as the one I had in the Oslo-office, and the salary is pretty much the same, but with the added benefit of having a lower cost of living in Montreal compared to Oslo.

It took some deliberation and much chin-scratching to decide what to do next; it’s never easy to uproot and move, especially not to a completely different continent, but in the end I concluded that the pros of moving outweighed the cons and accepted the offer. That was two months ago.

Right now I find myself situated in a temporary apartment in Montreal, and my two first weeks on BritishCanadian soil have just passed. Despite all the fake Frenchmen running around, it seems like a decent enough place. At first glance it seems pretty similar to Oslo and Norway. At second glance, though, you start noticing some differences. The metro on bouncy rubber wheels, and the lack of any air-condition in the metro-stations. The hilarious policies that cellphone service providers operate under (I have to pay both when sending and when receiving SMSs/phone calls? wtf). Monthly bandwith limits on Internet. The fact that drugstores seem to outnumber grocery-stores. The absurd amount of water in the toilet-bowls. The lack of Norwegian brown cheese. THE LACK OF NORWEGIAN BROWN CHEESE!

I did find a Norwegian website that can ship me some of this precious cheese (and other Norwegian food-products), though unfortunately the shipping-price for half a kilo of brown cheese from Norway to Canada seems pretty expensive. No luck as of yet finding anyone/anywhere actually selling it in Canada – though there must be some “Norwegian-Canadians” around (432,515 according to Wikipedia) who should have created a market for it. Hm. Unless they’ve abandoned their cultural heritage completely and forgotten all about the brown cheese! Traitors, all of them.

(Edit: Since this blog-post was originally published I have actually found Norwegian brown cheese in Montreal. Currently I know of two places where it can be bought – though I’ve only ever been to one of them. The first (which I’ve been to) is in a cheese-store inside Atwater Market (2nd floor) called La fromagerie Hamel, and the second is a place recommended to me by a random stranger who read my post and sent me an e-mail telling me about La Vieille Europe, which apparently has quite a lot of special/exclusive cheeses (which the Norwegian brown quite clearly is), though I have not yet been there.)

Brown cheese or not, it does seem like I’m going to be staying in Montreal and Canada for a while, and as my current abode is just a temporary thing that I’ll only have access to for another two weeks, I had better get back to my apartment hunting.

Au plaisir de vous revoir!