Monday, October 20, 2014

The Secrets of - Part One

Part One- Events

The single most important resource for the Realms is (yes, even more than the View From Valehaven). It provides up to date event announcements, player and character lists, the ability to create event listings, automates voting for the View From Valehaven Awards, facilitates the Event Holder's Council proposals, has an online version of the rules/Omnibus, and has other useful tools. And while nothing on it is truly secret, for a new player (and some experienced ones) there is a lot of good material on that not everyone might know about. This series of articles will endeavor to highlight some of these resources.

First up, lets look at the singular best feature of the site, the one you will be looking at the most.

In the bottom right of the site there is the list of Upcoming Events. This shows the next 5 events that are upcoming with title and date (you may have to scroll down to see them all). You can click on the name of the event and this link will take you directly to the event write-up which will give you all the information you need about the event.

After the list of 5, there is a link entitled Event Calendar. Clicking on this link will bring you to the current month with all the events for that month. There is a wealth of information on this calendar.

-Dates in Red are combat practices. Click on the name and it will give you more information about the practice site. These are times and places that a person can show up to practice their combat skills. Most practices last a few hours. You can check out the different ones to see which one is close to you.

-Dates in Green are events that have a site and are confirmed as a Realms legal event. There are some factors that have to be met before an event can be deemed legal and Green means that the event listing has met those criteria. The event will still need to fulfill other criteria on the day of the event (have the required number of players, etc) before it can be deemed a legal event.

-Dates in Blue are for events that have not met all the requirements to be a legal event or are defined as not a legal event by the person who placed the event up on the Calendar. Often some eventholders will "reserve" a date by placing it on the Calendar without confirming a site. Other times the Blue may indicate the date is being used for something other than an event, such as a site clean-up day, or the Event-Goers Meeting. Often dates in Blue will change to Green before the day of the event to signify they have "fixed" whatever was holding the event back from being legal (such as confirming an event site).

Note that some dates can have multiple different events on it. This is shown by a dividing line between the two (or three) events. However, they are all still listed in the same Date box.

The Event Calendar is rather robust. At the bottom of the Calendar a person can move forward or backward on the Calendar to other months. Or they can choose a specific month and year to move directly to that month.

All event write-ups remain up on realmsnet even after the event has ended...all the way back 1999. Here you can read the Event Description. Often this will give some indication of what the event was all about (assuming the eventholder (EH) for the event wrote a good one). There can also be an Event Wrap-Up as written by the EH. The third thing is that a person can review an event and these will also be shown here. This is a good way to research what other people thought of the event, especially if the event is part of a series. Or for you to leave what you thought of an event.

You'll be checking out this feature of realmsnet a lot as you plan out your event-going schedule.

Question of the Week - 167

What items have you made for your character or events?  Tell us about one or two that you are particularly proud of?

Friday, October 17, 2014

What You Missed- Green & Gold by Jesse "Mestoph" Gifford

This year's Green & Gold was a much more subdued affair than years past.  A bare handful of people turned out to compete in the annual contest of Youth and Skill vs. Age and Treachery.  The competitors all seemed to be in high spirits and looked forward to the day's events.

The day began with the traditional lining up of the competitors to divide them into their respective teams.  This year, however, the traditional Secret Chaos Ninja Battles began before the teams had even been established!  It took several of the participants a few moments to realize that if they were the last one's alive, then their team won.  That was several moments more than they had as some of the people faster to catch on rapidly dropped the people around them.  It came down to a faceoff between Quinn and Rorin, with Rorin emerging the victor and scoring the first points of the day for the Gold Team.

After that was the picking of the generals (Green/Kyro, Gold/Gherradynne), with the Green members debating hotly amongst themselves while the Gold team went with their traditional, "Not It" and proceeded to find a place to sit and some shelter from the light rain that was still persisting.  Field battles commenced and the teams were rather closely matched with all three fights coming right down to the wire.  Spirits were high, and all seemed to be enjoying themselves.

As the afternoon progressed a few more competitors filtered in, all veteran players, requiring the rebalancing of the teams.  This required a seldom seen adventurer from Eagles Rook named Lance (oddly decked out in the gear of Prince Gideon, lost in Gaol the night before) to switch sides, and the balance seemed to go with him.  While the Gold team was still possessed of skill, the team was comprised exclusively of spell casters and the Green team had a Circle of Protection.  This put the Gold team at a distinct disadvantage in the following Castle Siege, Bridge Battle, and Point Control fights

With the day waning it was decided to end the day with a game of Magic Missile Wiffle Ball.  Two innings of complicated rules changes, and general confusion, and it was decided the better way to cap off the day was with a good old fashioned game of Kick Ball.  Gold took an early 6-0 lead at the end of the top of the first, but Green would not be denied and put three runs on the board during their half of the inning.  Gold would increase their lead by two their next time up, but Green came thundering back in the bottom of the second and plated four runs.  This would not prove to be enough, and Gold came out on top 8-7.

It was not the usual Green and Gold we've all come to expect, but the staff and the players made the best of a less than ideal day.  In the end, everyone seemed to have a good time, and it was more about camaraderie than competition.

Editor's Note- Apparently Jesse did not exaggerate when he said it wasn't about competition as the morning after I received the write up he sent the following note, "I forgot to include in my write up that the event was declared a tie, Green winning the tournaments and Gold winning the kickball game."

10 Questions- Jon "Zatarra" Landerfin

How long have you been playing?

Photo by Rob Luger
TOC 16 (or was it 15, it's really a blur) was my first event. I know at least 5 years because I don't qualify for the newbie tourneys anymore. 

How has the game changed since you've been playing? 
Every time I see this question the typical answer is combat, what with bamboo weapons and more focus in tourneys. However I prefer to stray away from combat so I'll say the questing has changed. I have seen more involvement of npcs on a larger scale. From more people volunteering so the numbers are greater, to the actual interaction and complexity of even random monsters. Even the generic garb they wear has become more than a blank tabard. 

Who have you learned the most from?
Too many people to mention here. Everyone you talk to in the game you can learn something from one way or another. Bones was pretty helpful in my beginning days. Partially the reason I joined Blackwood. Rillan has been pretty great trying to get me more into combat, as well as Shandar and Vuel. Sir Shean and Trent for lore and back in the day stories, kinda different between the two I'm sure. Trent always has the ones that makes me wish I was around back then. 
What was your best moment IC?
O boy. There's a few I probably shouldn't mention on fear of being scalped. I will say the Event Which Must Not Be Named 2 had a pretty epic moment. The questing party had to travel through the dark woods. Walking down dark paths which seemed like nothing was there, then suddenly red eyes were everywhere! Was pretty awesome and scary to happen suddenly. But the moment is when we made it through and met Aragog the giant spider. He was very grumpy and spitting at people because he would only talk to Hagrid. So Razmuth and I developed a plan to put me on his shoulders and try to pretend to be Hagrid, I mean I had the beard right. Needless to say it failed but the party got a good laugh. As I walked away, I'm sorry, as Razmuth walked away with me on his shoulders all I could say was "man really wish I took shape shifting". 

Photo by Jesse Gifford
What was your best moment as a NPC/EH/Player?
It was one of the first Blackwood events where i was the bid bad npc. I was given a megaphone, a magic item, some spells and told to riff. I was protected behind a barricade that the pcs had to break down before getting to me. I remember shouting at all the players and calling out some, when suddenly the wall fell and within an instant there is a Wrath standing in front of me. I figure I got this, I have spells....and then he says flat!

What would you like to see changed or developed more in game? 
The currency. There is little focus on it other than vendors and auctions. I feel this causes a lot of people to keep their coin in ooc areas until needed. Few times it's been applicable on quests and suddenly you see some people go running back to get their currency. I always carry more than enough on me (yea that's right realms thieves, what's up) and have handed it out for pretty random reasons. I like to give some out to newbies that really have no idea there is currency in our game. 

What advice would you give new players? 
Photo by Robyn Nielsen
Talk to everyone, kill some, bribe others. Don't be afraid to take anything that says "stealable", it says it for a reason! The fallout from taking it makes for some awesome stories, and you will usually find someone to call your soul. Get yourself out there and known. Stay away from petitioning immediately, even if it's the group of friends you've entered the game with. You never know if they'll be active years from now when you are still heavily attending events. 

What do you love most about the game? 
The people. The community we have is amazing. At first there was only a few I talked to and conversed with. Now there are more than a hundred on my Facebook and it feels my realms friends are really all who comment and like things. You have taken over. I don't even know who was on there before I joined the game anymore. 

Who would you like to see the next interview be with? 
Cody Garcia 

Anything else you'd like to take the opportunity to put into print?
Look down people! Not only does it save us small folk from being bumped and pushed around in line battles and conversation circles, but it may prevent you from losing your pouches and valuables as well. Just saying! ;)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

What you missed, Green and Gold

Photo by Jesse Gifford

Photo by Jesse Gifford
Photo by Jesse Gifford

Photo by Jesse Gifford

Photo by Jesse Gifford

Belts of the Eternal Flame Jason "Sir Malaki" Gray

1.     What year were you awarded your white belt?

2.    Who administered "the punch" and-- be honest!!--did it hurt?
            Radstar, and a little, cause he has bony hands and I have a bony chest.

3.     Whose belt did you wear until you got your own, and how was this significant for you?      
            Sir Jarrod's. It was super significant as Jarrod has been my biggest influence in game. I also remember he threatened to end me if I broke it :P I mean the belt is almost as old as I am.

4.     Can you describe your own belt's heraldry?
            My belt is a traditional style KoEF belt with diagonal stripes, I've included the
Folkestone symbol with two Chinese characters for Family Forever.

5.     Why did you chose that heraldry to represent you?
            I wanted mine to look similar to Jarrod's as I liked the traditional style, I included the Folkestone symbol because it is a large part of who I am as a person today, and to make it "Malaki" I added the Chinese characters for what Folkestone means to him.

Photo by Jesse Gifford
6.     Who did the artwork on your belt?
            Leanne (Hoffman) Micciche.

7.     What do you remember most about your knighting?
            It was at Leviathan, and I actually suspected it was happening because two of my very close friends who were KoEF were avoiding me all day.

8.     What does being a KoEF mean to you?

            Being a KoEF means many things, and I'm not sure I can do my feelings justice with words. As much as we sometimes pick on our one tenet of "To thine ownself be true" if you look at it on a deeper meaning, it sums it up pretty well. Have beliefs and convictions, and never be afraid to stand up for them

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What You Missed- The Hangman's Daughter by Mikey "Janus" Donnelly

People of the realms, it is my sad duty to announce several disturbing pieces of news.  Asmodeus has captured Dalindanna while Laurante, Khol, Avendar and Gideon are currently trapped in Gael as a result of their attempt to rescue her.  With this news out of the way, I shall fill in how these events occurred.

Gregory Kast, a priest of Kronos, sent out a letter to meet in Stonybrook, a village where a girl named Diana was located.  He sent the letter because recently several members of the village were slaughtered when the village elders refused to hand her over to some creature.  As we arrived at the village, we spoke to the locals and found several rumors surrounded this girl.  She could speak with ghosts.  She was cursed.  She was hunted by demon ghosts.  All of these came from the villagers who worked themselves up into a frenzy and marched upon her house to kill her before she could bring any further bad luck upon the village.

We rushed ahead and prevented the villagers from getting to Diana.  We actually had some trouble finding her, as she hid well from her former friends.  As we searched for her, we found that beside us and other villagers, there were undead that were out and about hunting her down.  Diana was found, and she confirmed she could see and speak with ghosts.  Beyond that, she could overhear the gods talking.  She told us of this and a ritual she had researched which would protect her from the threat that approached.

As we set out to gather the components of the ritual, a demon named Drex arrived and claimed to be the Knight Commander of the Knights of Garm, claiming that Gideon and others were no longer Knights.  He then demanded of us either of two things: the Sword of the Crossroads, or Diana.  After brief deliberation, we refused and eventually slew him and the undead with him.  We placed Drex in a Circle of Protection, and spoke with him again.  He gave us one last chance to turn over Diana, and we refused.  He walked off (yes, right out of the circle...he wasn’t trapped) and said he would be back with assistance, and warned that we would regret our decision.

Knowing Drex would be back soon, we started gathering components, which were essences held by different ghosts.  We believe each ghost was associated with a different god, but we are not certain of all of the gods.  First, there was a ghost named Jack, who was tied to this earth by his desire to play fun and games.  He, we are not sure who he was tied to, but it may have been Dio, or another god.  After playing “Duck, Duck, Goose” with him, we earned the first piece of essence.  After this, we encountered a ghostly of a follower of Rowanam.  He wanted to be defeated in an honorable battle.  From here we found a ghost of a Judge, who I believe was matching Justari.  He needed help sentencing someone, and we provided the reason for it to be true.  The fourth ghost was a woman who lost her son.  We believe this was the Grey Man as we had to provide her hope that she would see her son after she passed.  Finally, we encountered a ghost who was fighting in the name of Aurora keeping a village safe from demons as the town evacuated.  We had to fight at his side, and provide him friendship to gain his essence.

With the five essences obtained, we performed the ritual, and a piece of ore we had as the focus started to glow.  Thinking Diana was now safe, we started to leave, but Drex stopped our departure with Nemesis Wraiths at his side.  Four of our party managed to sneak Diana away undetected by Drex and his forces, and she provided key information to Khol along with the glowing ore, then sacrificed herself to save all of us.  Drex, upon getting Diana, sent her to judgement by the balance, control of which has been taken over by Asmodeus.  Khol informed us that Diana was in fact Dalindanna, and she had given him a ritual to get to Hell, so we could bring the ore to Hephaestus.

We started the new ritual.  One at a time, each of us fought our inner darkness, and while many succeeded, more failed.  Regardless of the outcome of the fights, we sanctified ourselves enough for the ritual to bring us to the Auroran temple in Hell without corrupting it.  We went from there, to a tavern, and from the tavern to Hephaestus’ Forge.  There we learned a lot.  The ore we had was not a protective ward as we were led to believe.  Instead, it was a new metal made out of parts blessed by 5 gods.  This was given to Hephaestus in exchange for unforging Luna from a blade, so she no longer had a breakable mortal form. After doing this, he warned us of the plan Asmodeus had, not to destroy other gods, but to change them from what they currently are into forces more to his liking.  He also provided the start of instructions for dealing with the Asmodeus issue. Next, we learned we were not the only visitors that night.  Asmodeus was there earlier, and attempted to have Dalindanna forged into a blade again so he could snap the blade and leave it in Gael.  Hephaestus refused, but he did unforge the sword Vindication for Asmodeus.  What happened to the being within is anybody’s guess.  Khol took Aurora’s boon from his pocket, and asked for Dalindanna to be kept safe.  We were informed she was in Gael, and would be kept alive until we had a chance to go to Gael to rescue her.

We left the forge shortly thereafter, and fought through Hell to an entrance of Gael.  Demons guarded the gate, and we couldn’t fight our way through.  Only a few people managed to fight their way inside, namely Gideon, Laurante, Khol and Avendar, in three separate groups.  The rest of us ended up trapped within the safety of Circle of Protections until we were ejected from Hell by an unknown power.  Those still in Gael, stayed.  Perhaps a chance to rescue them will appear soon, but they are on their own for now.