Shanghai Salon

Thought about a title in Chinese, but I realized that wouldn’t help with searching or identifying.


While not my favorite weekend of the trip, the second weekend, the full weekend, saw me need something to do as everyone I know tends to be too busy with family stuff or takes vacations in Japan.  I was planning on going to one of the Tuesday night meetups for Shanghai gamers.  I figured, “gee, I need to do something and the acrobatic violinist thing isn’t until Sunday night, so I might as well hang out at a gaming place and see if I can meet gamers and/or play something for a time”.

So, I headed over to CGS – Core Gaming Salon.  Can also find on boardgamegeek’s Shanghai Gamers.

Not a place to buy games since taobao exists, etc.  One of the things I liked was that there were Chinese gamers, expat gamers, and some mixing between the two.  Laurent explains games in English and Chinese (or, even, French).

I get to the place around 2PM Saturday, and I talk with Laurent for a bit, who pulls out mancala.  Okay, guess it’s time to learn an ancient game.  I thought I’d get destroyed quick.  An hour or so later, I finally got destroyed.

I can do old ...

I can do old …

Got together with some others and played a quicker game of Desperados of Dice Town.

Are you sure you want to try and win?

Are you sure you want to try and win?

Every game I have ever played of this I’ve won … when my last remaining opponent attacked me … for enough money-extortion damage to win.

More people, messier arena.  Ultimate WarriorZ with a full boat of players.

See the tall one in the middle ...

See the tall one in the middle …

Yup, I get dragon.  Dragon is full of ruthless beats … and totally gets ganked because of being easy to hit and scoring too high.  After the second game, where I played banzai guy, talked about how to play the dragon, and the conclusion was to go after tiny dudes to not only take out the annoyances who survive too long but also to *reduce* the number of points you generate so that everyone isn’t forced to off you.

Btw, it’s just so much easier to read the rules on boardgamegeek than for me to go into them.

Of the three, mancala is too chesslike for me, UW was too aggressively player vs. player for me to want to play much more, and DoDT was perfectly fine.

At some point, I don’t even remember the order, I played Cyclades and lost horribly, again.  It’s just way too aggro of a game for me.  Was supposed to be a player for Blood Rage, which certainly has aesthetic appeal, but I was in other stuff when the owner arrived.  Greek or Norse Mythology?  Either just keeps enticing the idea of having a mythological RPG campaign.

I could have left and still gotten the metro, which is my preferred method of getting around.  I got roped into a game of Skulls & Roses.  While it forced me to take a taxi back to the hotel, it was the only time playing with more Chinesey Chinese.  It dragged on a long, long time.  Too many players suicided themselves.  Bids were way too high.  Finally, Laurent won when there were only five players left of the original 12.  I’m too old to run a biker gang.

One of the guys and Laurent mentioned a D&D 5e game on Sunday.  So, of course, I showed up for that.  The GM didn’t want more players because too much number crunching for him, but I talked to him for a while and he ended up okay with my playing a NPC who wouldn’t fight, rather than me just observing.

Very much a group of players I’m used to.  Concern over PC abilities and a desire to buttkick were most prevalent.  I played a hunchbacked navigator on one of the two ships.  I didn’t try to get into combat, but I latched on to the party cleric, so I ended up in an away mission where the shark feint was followed by the undead possessed Sahuagin and friends followed by a t-rex.  Party sixth/seventh level, my dude not so much.  T-rex not so great after sorcerer blows his nuke attack to clear the Sahuagin.  My BFF nearly got swallowed.

Four and a half hours, though significantly less of on stage time, of first 5e experience ever.  Yup, that’s why I go to China, to play D&D editions I’ve never played.  I hope an observer to the session whose English isn’t so great gets an opportunity to play more.  Since I don’t know when I’ll travel, hard for me to commit to anything, but I might be taking something like Conan d20 or Feng Shui to run as a one shot on some trip.

I didn’t learn a lot about 5e.  The one thing I think d20 did right was skills, which seems to put me into some category of minoritas.  Admittedly, I kind of get why D&D players don’t care as much about skills since magic subs for using skills to do things.

So, first times for mancala, Desperados of Dice Town, Ultimate WarriorZ, Skull (Skulls & Roses), and, of course, D&D 5e.  Totally working on my gamer cred ranks.

Oh, and I made the Tuesday night meetup, as well.  Taught Ghost Stories, badly, think it was the first time I ever lost, but, then, I’m not used to playing four player.  Played Katana (Samurai Sword), which is like Bang.  I got beaten down as the samurai.  Six players, one player seemed like the ronin but turned out to be a ninja, confusing people a lot.  I made the metro before it stopped running.

Not a lot of people for the meetup, certainly nothing like the weekend.  Hopefully, things build up.

No acrobatic violinist.  No nearby amusement park.  I just can’t do things other people find interesting.

The only other thing I could post about that relates to the trip is having some thoughts on thoughts while not doing sudoku on the flight back.


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