Friday, August 16, 2019

What You Missed at Rhiassa Presents: QoH XXVI (photos)

Team Serra/ Goldenduck
Team Shadowdragon

Team Shader

Field Battles

Antonine Wall (aka Jinx's Tourney)

One Woman

Rhiassan Cub Care
Kids venture off on a quest

Aces Tournament

Aces Tournament

Newbie Tourney

Castle  Battles

Water Missile Melee

Mogar goes into a berserker rage

Rhiassan Cub Care

Cleaved Tournament 

Performance Tourney

10-Person Field Battle

Challenge Race

Challenge Race

Challenge Race

Grand Teamwork Tournament

Bridge Battle

Queen Aidan says his thanks

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Why I Want to Go: Chimeron Questing XXVII- Big Trouble in Little Chimeron

by Adrian "Cronin" Cronin

Chimeron Questing last year, in my opinion, created some of the most memorable moments of the season. The purification of people and old artifacts like Wrake's finger bone and the fall of Artemis from the heavens announcing the coming Strangers War. A dreaming quest whodunnit murder mystery party with some of the greatest RP I've seen from people and NPC's. Not one, but TWO trials from adventurers committing crimes within the lands of Chimeron, again stoking some INCREDIBLE role-playing and stories that I still tell around the campfire. And the final push against the Risen Kingdom to name a few.

The best part is that this is only a summary of SOME of what I experienced. Not to mention other adventurers left with far different tales to tell. I remember the car ride home, breaking down our experiences it sounded like we hit different events, but all with grand smiles on our faces.

This is what open-world Questing is about. Lots of things going on all at once. Where your choices affect the outcome and chance encounters are everything.

I can't wait to return to the lands of Chimeron as Cronin. To talk strategy against the Risen Kingdom alongside Orion. To unravel the mysteries of the fae alongside my fellow adventurers. To check in on intrigue from last year and see what lasting effects our efforts have made. And most of all, to adventure in a classical style and make some memories.

I also hear there will be a lifeguard on duty for swimming which is very exciting.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Queen of Hearts 2019 Tournament Results

The three teams this year were Team Shader, Team Shadowdragon, and Team Serra/Goldenduck

War Maneuvers

Grand Teamwork

Bridge Battle

3-Way Tie

Challenge Race

Antonine Wall

Kill the Queen

Castle Battles

Water Missile Melee

Field Battles

Live Chess

Team Grand Melee

Luck of the Draw

Queen's War

Individual and Small Group Combat 

10-Person Field Battle

10-Person Bridge Battle

10-Person Folkestone Challenge

10-Person Castle Battle

One Man
Wrath (Shadowdragon)

One Woman
Lupa (Shadowdragon)

Wrath and Lupa (Shadowdragon)

Saka (Shader)

Vesper (Shadowdragon)

Sibyl (Shadowdragon)

Thayet (Shadowdragon)

Knight/ Squire
Shandar and Wrath (Shadowdragon)

Spirit / Steel 
Vuel and Aidan (Shadowdragon)

Single Short Individual
Wrath (Shadowdragon)

Florentine Individual
Wrath (Shadowdragon)

Sword & Shield Individual
Wrath (Shadowdragon)

Hand & Half Individual
Tark (Shader)

Single Short Squad

Florentine Squad 

Sword & Shield Squad

Hand & Half Squad

Damien (Shader)

Duncan's Challenge
Wrath (Shadowdragon)

Non-Combat and Crafting

Zatarra (Shadowdragon)

Kovaks (Goldenduck)

Raynor (Shader)

Banners & Heraldry
Tazzia (Shadowdragon)

Raynor and Umbra (Shader)

Tao (Shadowdragon)

Avendar (Goldenduck)

Hyger (Goldenduck)

Miyumi (Goldenduck)

TIE - Twen (Shader) and Shalindra (Goldenduck)

Ranger (Shader)

Vee (Shadowdragon)

Boff Archery
Tao (Shadowdragon)

Merix (Goldenduck)


Team Camaraderie

Team Spirit 

Best True Supporters

Ace of Clubs
Saegan (Shadowdragon)

Ace of Diamonds
Tor (Shader)

Ace of Hearts
Shader (Shader)

Ace of Spades
Rillan (Goldenduck)

Aidan (Shadowdragon)

On Marshaling

by Angie "Phoenix" Gray

We have a problem in our game. Discussion around the code of conduct has convinced me that our problems are best dealt with by open conversation.

We have very few people who have extensive experience marshaling the super fast combat of today. The small number of people who are confident in their abilities in this area frequently want to play at the same events. This frequently leaves event holders relying on a high percentage of marshals who are newer or out of practice.

Before you misunderstand me, while I do think this is a problem, the quality of marshaling isn’t the problem I think we need to be talking about. The bigger issue to me is how the people who do step up to marshal, understanding they aren’t the best but rather the best available, get treated.

I’ve opted to rotate in and marshal at Queen of Hearts multiple times throughout my two decades in game. I do this understanding it is an event that our strongest combatants love to play at, and it is an event that requires a large dedicated marshaling staff. It was a disappointing experience.

Prior to this event, I hadn’t fully comprehended that we have people who value winning to the point where they are willing to publicly complain and make snide comments about calls made by community members who are providing a needed service to the game to the best of their ability. To be clear I’m not talking about single incidents where an individual responds in a heated manner, and I absolutely think it is appropriate to tell the head marshal if there are concerns about a staff member's competency.

At one point on Saturday, I could hear someone repeatedly questioning marshals' calls throughout a tournament. Late in it I could hear them complaining about a call I made and trying to have it reversed loudly enough to be audible from across the field. I’m a veteran and was confident that my call was consistent with how the tournament was being marshaled. It still gave me pause. How do we expect to have newer players step up and be willing to take on these type of roles when the community accepts them being blatantly disrespected.

Some may voice a perspective that Queen of Hearts is intended to be the most competitive event of the year. That it is a time where it is appropriate to be highly invested in winning and it’s understandable that people get extra competitive. While that was historically true, a high percentage of the Realms community has moved away from wanting it to be that type of event, and more than that Rhiassa has made it clear that that is not the type of event they want to be throwing at this point in history. Again they as a group, giving service to the game, deserve to have that respected. If you don’t want to play at the type of event they are trying to throw, support them in an alternate way.

If we want to have people continue to be willing to step up and invest their time and money in throwing events or people continue to donate their time so that others can play we need to not just have a rule saying that we need to listen to the marshals, but we as a community need to treat them in a way that reflects valuing their service.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

What You Missed- Rhiassa Presents: Queen of Hearts XXVI

by Renee "Kindrianna" Booke

My feet are on fire, my muscles are sore,
But I can still tell you a story of war.
Three teams took the field for a chance to compete
But to win Queen of Hearts is no quick easy feat.

First was Team Shadowdragon, all warriors true,
Their shields all stood tall and their thrown weapons flew.
The swift Athlete Vee ran as fast as a deer,
And One-Woman Lupa pierced through foes like a spear.

Shandar commanded a Legion united,
And over the weekend Daekara was knighted.
Elizah, an Ace, broke restriction and won,
And Wrath took on challengers until there were none.

Next was Team Shader, a fun and fierce lot,
They picked up their pikes and threw shot after shot.
Temorse kept friends safe from behind giant shield,
And Damion’s role as the Rat was concealed!

Raynor told us the story of a three-legged pig,
And Eldritch’s mantle hid a drink for a swig.
Twenaria had a dragon she could wear on her back,
While Tor inspired the team to lead the attack.

Last was Team Serra, who became Goldenduck!
Full of talented people, some spirit, and luck.
Kingslayer Kyomi remained true to her name,
And the Mayerling archers watched the field and took aim.

Janus took on a fighter and the crowd made some noise,
While I got pulled into squads and “stuck in with the boyz.”
Soarin sewed chaos with a clutch Cry of Life,
And Muursha made paintings, giving legends new life.

In the end, it was Aiden who won the day.
Team Shadowdragon triumphed and held us at bay.
With tears in his eyes, he thanked every friend,
And Queen of Hearts Twenty-Six was brought to an end.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Why I Want To Go (Part 2)--Queen of Hearts XXVI

by Lani "Gwen" Jones

Renee wrote a beautiful Why I Want to Go this week, but the spirit moved me to share with you all why I’m beyond excited for this year’s Queen of Hearts, so here is a late week addition for your reading pleasure.

I’ve had a range of emotions about this event for the past eleven years. Reflecting on my earliest QoH memories, I can say that I approached my first event with a healthy mix of anxiety and excitement, representing Queen Sean Angus as the newbie. What I remember most about that event was being part of a team, who, despite regularly getting our butts kicked in war maneuvers had an absolute blast. I got to play with Alysha, prep non-stop for the newbie tournament, and meet people who would become life-long friends. I’ll always remember Betty showing me the importance of a bandana in preventing coif-hair-pulling disasters. As the years passed, the shine of that first QoH wore off, in particular because I realized that sometimes highly competitive events can bring out the not-so-nice parts of the people and community that I love so much.

In recent years, the QoH staff (myself included) worked hard to address some of those tougher parts of Queen of Hearts by radically changing the event--making a conscious choice to focus more on fun and less on the unhealthier aspects that competition can bring out in us. Slowly but surely, I began to regain my love for the event that ushered in my commitment to the Realms. I can honestly say that this year I’m approaching the event with the excitement I had as a wide-eyed newbie. It’s because so many of you showed me that, when we commit to having fun with one another, this event really can be special.

In that vein, I’m appealing to all of you--please, come to this event with an open mind and an open heart. Competition is a blast, and I can’t wait to see the martial and crafting prowess that you all bring to the field this year. But please, don’t forget what we come here for--to spend time with our friends, to make new ones, and ultimately, to support and celebrate all of the things we each do so well.

You can help by keeping a few things in mind this weekend:
1. We Should All Be Doing this to Have Fun--If you came here to prove something, or to show that you’re better than someone else, I think you might be missing the point.
2. Your Marshals Are People Too--it can be easy to yell at the ump when they make a call you disagree with, but if you start arguing with people who are volunteering their time to help you have a better time, you’re kind of like a parent yelling at the little league referee--and I know you don’t want to be that person.
3. I’m a Hufflepuff--If you mess with my friends, if you’re ruining other people’s fun, if you’re not acting like your best self, I’ll have to put you in your place (it’s part of the ‘Puff guidelines). So, just, you know, don’t do that.

Thanks for supporting this event for 26 years, for being a part of something that is evolving and changing and getting better each year. Thanks for giving me back my joy, and for letting me meet you on the field to have a genuinely good time.