Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What You Missed, The Event Which Should Not be Named

Photo by Jesse Gifford

Photo by Jesse Gifford

Photo by Jesse Gifford

Photo by Jesse Gifford 

Photo by Jesse Gifford

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Why I Want To Go- Tournaments of the Void 5

Tournaments of the Void 5
August 2, 2014 (Saturday 12pm) - August 2, 2014 (Saturday 8pm)
Event Type:Tournaments

This has been a good series of tournaments. Each year it gets better and better. While there will be Order of the List points available for competitors, there are also Void points which is an alternate fighting ranking system. This year promises something for those no interested in fighting with a search and find challenge. Winners in this challenge will gain points toward the raffle to be held at the end of the day (along with doing well in the other tournaments). A couple of interesting notes for the tournaments is that armor does not need to worn to count in tournaments and characters will be allowed to safely break weapons restrictions to enter the combat tournaments.
Personally, I am intrigued by the "build-your-own-burrito" bar!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Question of the Week - 155

Have you ever played an "alt" (alternate character)? If yes, why? If no, why not?

Friday, July 25, 2014

10 Questions - Hillary "Tara" Fotino

Hillary "Tara" Fotino

Photo by Jesse Gifford
How long have you been playing?
I've been playing since the Black and White of '07.

How has the game changed since you've been playing?
While I don't know if its true, it feels like there are a lot more tournaments and a lot less quests happening these days. It does feel like a lot of the major plots that were big when I first started either wrapped up or disappeared in the last year or so. I like the shift to improving the fighter culture of the game, though sometimes it feels that it comes at the cost of people's fun and the cost of roleplaying.

Who have you learned the most from?
I feel like I've learned from everyone. As far as the most goes, that has to go to three people who through the course of their actions and words shaped not only Tara the character but Hillary the player, pushed me to improve in real life as well as game life and I can guarantee without them that I would not be the person that I am now. So, many thanks to Dave Martin, Janna Oakfellow-Pushee and Alex Newbold. They taught me everything from how to be a better fighter all the way to how to look someone in the eyes.

What was your best moment IC?
That depends on what you mean by 'best'. There are two moments from the same event that are full of a lot of emotion for me.

The first is probably the one time I really felt epic as a fighter. I want to say it was the second Saturday of the final push into Bedlam, but I'll be honest, those weekends blur together for me in a way I would never have believed possible so it might have been the first one. It was late, it was dark and people were starting to slow down. You could feel the urge to just hole up in the tavern and not move. We knew which way we needed to go to find the next piece we needed but no one was moving. So, I decided it was time to go. I had a special shield which had been made for the event which glowed and would let me plant my feet and gain invulnerability for the next 30 seconds. So I walked out of the tavern with Cuchullain and Pheonix Rose, but no one else followed us. We got to the head of the trail we needed to go down and I planted my feet when we got attacked. I don't think 30 seconds has ever last so long before. The count finished and I finally started taking damage. I was convinced I was about to go down when someone healed one of my legs. The rest of the questing party had arrived just in time.

The second was definitely the final Sunday during the last court of the True Court of Fae. To preface this, my first event was the coronation of Cuchullain and Nimbus and that has always been a very defining moment to Tara. By this point in the Bedlam War, there were rumors going around that the Fae were going to pull out after we defeated Mad Tom. We had all been talking about it on the side. The plane of Fae was so damaged, what would happen? I knew two things to be true: Tara would never leave the mortal realms and her responsibilities there but she would also never be a squire in a capacity where she could not actually serve her knight. I had spent more than a while bracing myself for the very real possibility of turning in my squire belt. Instead, I found myself being knighted and explicitly told to stay behind. That moment has gone on the very, very short list of times I have honestly cried real honest to goodness tears at an event.

Photo by Angela Earle Gray

What was your best moment as a NPC/EH/Player?
Hands down, the best moment has to be during the storyteller's quest that Becky and I ran some time back where we actually hung a player. We had a tree climber's rig to keep him safe and hung the noose loosely in the tree so if something failed, the noose would just fall. But it was convincing enough that went the rest of the players found him, they were legitimately shocked and confused.

What would you like to see changed or developed more in game?
I would really love to see more garb, more role-playing and less OOC talk during events. I know people want to catch up, but at least do it off to the side. I know there have been individual pushes, but I feel like it will take a real push from across the board before anything changes.

What advice would you give new players?
Try everything! No seriously. Help in the kitchen, serve, NPC (but wait a while on that one*), fight, learn spells, fight some more. Ask people to teach you things. Anything. Make armor, sing, try rituals. Help people, stay to clean up, make friends. Run shops, do something in-character stupid, get in trouble. I mean it, try everything. And don't be afraid to make mistakes, they usually end in fun.
* But wait a while before you NPC. One of the things I've been discovering is that once you've seen behind the curtain, its hard to go back. Once you've been the goblin, its hard to see the goblins and not your friends in hockey masks. If someone has a solution to that, I would love it.

What do you love most about the game?
I love newbies. I love watching the wide eyed joy that people come in with. That sense of 'oh my god, its all really real' and 'this is what I didn't know I need'. So many of the people I've seen come into the game come for the roleplaying, stay for the community and really grow. I love being part of that and helping to shape who they become.

Who would you like to see the next interview be with?
I'm not sure. Surprises are fun though! Someone no one would expect.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Artist Profile- Amanda "Phoenix Rose" Sieracki

What mediums do you work in? I tend to favor digital art, but I also do doodles with just good old ball-point pen and whatever paper is on hand.
Have you had any formal art training?
None what-so-ever! Everything I've learned is from artists I admire, and asking them for pointers, or finding tutorials. Never be afraid to ask for help, or look up references and tutorials!
Where do you find inspiration? Everywhere. Sometimes it'll be a prompt that blossoms into an idea in my head, sometimes it'll be seeing someone else's work and wondering if I can do something similar. Sometimes just a handful of colors chosen at random will give me an idea. Character concept work for movies or games can be really interesting, too, and help with that little nudge.
Has your art been influenced by Realms? If so, how? It has, as I like doodling Phee from time to time, and sometimes the people she interacts with. It's helped me try to learn how to draw different weapons, armor, clothing styles and patterns, and body-shapes. It's also made me think more about heraldry in other projects. They're all things I'm working on doing better, but it helped kick-start the process.
Where do you share your work? My deviantart page for more finished things, or my tumblr account for sketches are the most common places I post things. My tumblr's mostly full of stories or other things, so that's not the best place to check.
What project/projects that you've created have you been particularly proud of? Anything that requires me to break out of my comfort zones. Backgrounds, concepts I'm not incredibly familiar with, or experimenting with lighting.
What projects do you hope to complete in the future? Besides the huge amount of art needed for all the future Nightshade Academy products we have lined up (let me tell you, there's a lot), I want to try illustrating a novel I've been working on for a few years.
What other Realms artists work do you enjoy? Keith "Tark" Tatarczuk, Will "Harlest" Bolton, Zach "Rubis" Senchuck (can be read here) and Janna "Iawen" Oakfellow-Pushee (can be read here) come to mind.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What You Missed- Grimloch Questing 2014

What you missed, Grimloch Questing 2014

Photo by Jesse Gifford

Photo by Jesse Gifford

Photo by Jesse Gifford

Photo by Jesse Gifford

Photo by Jesse Gifford

Photo by Jesse Gifford

Photo by Jesse Gifford

Photo by Jesse Gifford

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Why I Want To Go- The Event Which Must Not Be Named III

The Event Which Must Not Be Named III
July 25, 2014 (Friday 6pm) - July 27, 2014 (Sunday 6pm)
Event Type:Questing

This event has shown a consistent high level of prop making and costuming. Whether or not you are a fan of the Harry Potter stories, these are still good, solid Realms events. The plotting tends to be well thought out with plenty of room for role-playing, good fights and the opportunity to make personal choices for your character. One thing they do really well is create an immersive atmosphere where you can feel like you are somewhere else, in another world of intricate design. You can't go wrong by going to this event.