Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Note on this Sunday's Fight-a-thon by Dave "Vawn" Hayden

This coming Sunday at Tournaments of Blackwood, members of the Realms community will gather to participate in a Fight-a-thon to raise money in Bud’s name for TakeThis, Inc., a charity dedicated to providing education about mental health issues, providing support for gamers of all types, and reducing the stigma of mental illness. The Fight-a-thon will run for three hours, from 3:00 – 6:00pm.

Bud’s mom, Pat, has provided the fighters with an additional incentive in the form of two Boxes of Hope from TakeThis to be given to two of the participants; whoever wins the most fights and whoever loses the most fights – because there is as much honor in the struggle as there is in victory (nifty pictures of the Box of Hope can be found here).

The current list of committed participants includes:
  • Cody Garcia
  • Dave Hayden
  • Greg Falconer
  • Ian Pushee
  • James Murphy Jr
  • Josh Learned
  • Keith Cronyn
  • Michael Zajac
  • Ray McGuirk Jr.
  • Henry Giasson
  • Jesse Gifford

Sponsoring someone for the Fight-a-thon is easy and your pledge doesn’t have to be a large amount. You can pledge based on the number of fights someone participates in or the number of fights they win, a set amount, or even come up with your own incentives to make it interesting. Every little bit will help. You can contact any of the fighters directly via Facebook or their email on Realmsnet, or contact me if you’re running into a challenge getting in touch with someone.

For a continuously updated list of participants, Q&A and other information, please make sure to keep checking back on this Facebook post in the Realms group!

Why I Want To Go: Blackwood Tournaments V

Here is an event that has been running strong for V years.  Usually when an event is thrown over a holiday weekend, it is, frankly, doomed.  Yet, Blackwood is becoming a tradition for the weekend of the Fourth.
Why go to Uncle Bob's barbecue to see Granny and cousin Jean when you can go to Blackwood?  You know its a better time.  There's burgers, dogs and other traditional Fourth feasty things.  Theres (responsible, of age) drinking, and you can bring your own drinks so you don't have to politely swallow whatever swill is left floating in a warm cooler.
Games?  Oh yeah!  If you like poker, Blackwood's got it.
Questing?  How does a Big Game Hunt sound?  Gau Dring is at it again, with great monsters, solid challenges, and probably somewhat witty banter.
Do you like fighting?  How about a for-charity Fight-a-Thon to support the memory of one of our beloved community members?  Great!  Bring your weapons, get sponsored, or just fight for the fun of it.  Spectators are highly encouraged.  If you have questions about this, Im sure any number of KoEF will be happy to get the answers you need.
No matter what you choose, it's way better than hearing cousin Jean tell that story again.

Cousin Jean has stories for you

Friday, June 24, 2016

My Experience Backing "Learn to Fly" by John Berrini

 By all accounts "Learn to Fly" was a success. At the advent my mission was to give a couple aspiring event-holders the opportunity and the means to get a taste of event holding. I offered logistics, funding and NPC help along with a booked site and date. In return I asked for two six-hour blocks of plot, and I would fill in the rest. It was my hope that we could plant a seed that will develop into more quality questing events for the Realms. Lako took me up on the offer. 

He took control like a seasoned event-holder and along with the rest of Gau Dring, made my job easy. He first asked for time beyond what I had planned and eventually I scrapped all plot that I had written and given away the full weekend and creative control. 

Gau Dring rolled onto the Creathorne site like a SWAT team, gear in tow. A large tree-ent costume and minotaur were unpacked and Lako handed me a 26-page, bulleted, point-by-point plot document including stats for everything that was going out during the event before we started hanging every piece of black plastic Andy Disbrow had lent us.

The event went smoothly. Lako, Adam Landry and I had sat down at a few points during the event to reevaluate where the plot was and were it was going, making sure the flow was good and we would meet time. Everyone worked well together and was receptive and respective of each other’s input.

Aside from never ending compliments of this group and their competence as fantastic event-holders, I want to convey what a fulfilling experience this was for me. I've thrown more than a dozen events over close to two decades in the Realms. It’s always a sigh of relief when your event is over and people had a good time. This was better. I couldn't be happier to have been involved in this, even more it makes me happy to have been a part of launching a new event-holder. The game is better for having this staff. I’m humbled to have been a part of it.

My Experience Running the Questing at "Learn to Fly" by Lako Nuntiak

Running Learn to Fly

Imagine giving a new EH the ability to only worry about getting their ideas out there, they don’t have to worry about the real world technical side of things. This is what Learn to Fly was - John Berrini took out one of the biggest fears and hold-backs from getting New EH’s out there and left the rest up to my group. It was nerve racking for us as things went on as to if it was going to work and how. In the end though it all worked out and I think the stage has been set for more new EH’s to get a chance to shine.

I believe one of the greatest things holding back new EH’s is the cost - between site costs, prop costs, if there are bathroom on the site and a number of other clerical obstacles, many people don’t get the chance to run their first event. This event removed almost all of the roadblocks so my group was able to focus entirely on prop building and building a world for the PC’s to adventure in. Our experience with this event was unique, originally it was only supposed to be a 12-hour segment for us to run but due to circumstances we were given the entire weekend. Not only was the person backing the event having blind faith in a new group but we had been trusted with the entire weekend, much longer of a segment than was originally intended.

My group was approached three weeks prior to the event about if we wanted to do this and we grabbed on with all hands and ran with it. During this time plot was written, props were built, and everything was organized. Between all the people involved it was a whirlwind of work I could only sit back and watch. The only real concerns that were had during this time was having enough content for people to interact with and the amount of NPC’s that were going to be there - the rest was already planned or couldn’t be accounted for until the event started. The credit for everything that was done needs to go to Anthony Quintana, as well as Rosemary Campbell, Edward Lynch, and other members of Gau Dring. Without their time and dedication to getting things done it would have never happened. Even though we were in charge of the props and plot to get done John still stepped up and gave us a basis to build off of with a basic plot idea and even went to another LARP to borrow props that could be used for the event.

Once the event day had come is when we could do no more, this was the test to see if what John had intended for a new EH could work and if what my group had planned would entertain. The weekend was a blur, too much going on to recount and next to no problems to revisit from what I have seen and heard. At the end of it all the best lesson my group took away from this was communication is key, organization while next to impossible to maintain must be kept up with, and know and trust your staff.

All in all this opportunity was great, I do feel that our group did an exceptional job of taking over the duties we were given and then going above and beyond. This was an event run like any other and could have failed like any other. In the end it comes down to the wonderful staff, NPC’s and time and dedication that was given to it. I have a hard time trying to write something for this that seems right, the experience is exactly like it was expected, what was truly amazing was the chance to do it.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

What You Missed - Learn To Fly by James "Tao" Murphy

Once again the village is in trouble, the heroes ride to the rescue. We have done this before, we will do this again. Wait - was that an NPC at night with a really good tabard? Did this NPC just actually have gold on them? Could the NPC in the village who is leading us on the night quest really be the bad guy? (Well...yes)

This event had some very familiar framework, but took it into directions that I did not expect. Some players have a soreness scale that they use to measure how good an event was; I am very sore. Some players will measure how good an event was based on how often they thought they would lose. Saturday night we were down, we were bloody, we were scattered, some of us had been turned, it was an incredibly close contest. Some players judge an event by their purse, or by the new items they have. My pouch now jingles a bit more.

NPC cultists had tabards, goblins had masks, the trolls had masks, the Ents had costumes, the minotaur had a costume, the turtle had a shell, the undead had tabards, the BBG in the crypt had a special costume. The spirit in the crypt was an amazing puppet. 

What you missed was a very well thought-out story, with amazing costumes, great NPC’s and a lot of fun.

[Editor's note: photos and captions also by James Murphy]

Normal night at the inn where Deputy Dan informs us that a cabin boy is missing

Getting ready for the day

A pickable chest, someone must have gotten this one already

Let's do this thing

Getting ready to help the town

Kara figuring out how to make unique potions

Tao has no idea why the circle of protection is following him

Waiting on the door

The key goes in the lock

We don’t have enough pieces

Coffins in the crypt

Returning from the hunt


Deputy Dan sent us to put blankets on alters, what could possible go wrong?

Another wave of cultists

Monsters from the crypt

Lanterns of attraction and defense

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Why I Want To Go: Gilded Lion Summer Festival

A rich story line, wonderful costuming, a (sort of) tournament, and a BBQ? Only Rhiassa could put these things together, and excel while doing it. Previous encounters for this story line have been met with excitement and people have raved about the challenges and fascinating story line. The Echoes of Ragnorok storyline has quickly become one of the most anticipated storylines going. With thoughtful plot based on the old Norse mythos, intricate costuming and intriguing encounters, its easy to understand why. This Saturday, forget what you had planned. Instead, head to Rhiassa for Dwarves, Fire giants, Vikings, burgers and who knows what else? You won't regret it!