Wednesday, June 12, 2013

10 Questions - Cole "Dhamon" Wichman

Cole "Dhamon" Wichman

How long have you been playing?
My first event was ToC '98.  I was introduced to the members of Thorne Valley and was inducted that weekend, I believe.  I borrowed a weapon from Aelias and a shield from the Blackwood armory and that was my gear for the weekend.  I remember it well.  Paul Cote as the Mythdrannor elf king/prince (and Prince Nigel's bardic entries!  Hah!), the night quest where I swear I was surrounded by several hundred drow and driders. The most memorable part of the event?  The first time I heard an event wide "hold" called.  Hundreds of people shouting, fighting, full of adrenaline and liquid joy, and everyone freezes at the same time so that someone can find their lost glasses.  It was like magic wrapped in bacon. 

How has the game changed since you've been playing?
As with any community, people come and go, taking their opinions with them.  '98 was the first year of the circle-based spell system (if I remember correctly) and people were griping about it.  Now, in founding my own group and interacting with several other small groups in the area, I've come to realize that our magic system is the most diverse of all of them.  Now I see proposals to radically change the spell system again.  I saw the rise and fall of the Empire, and the rise of the Free Kingdoms.  I've seen players who started their careers with numbered jerseys become one of the best garbed at an event.  I've seen a drunken teddy bear who was always hitting on my wife voted "Most Intimidating" in the view awards for two years in a row.
One thing that hasn't changed?  People absolutely love this game. 

Who have you learned the most from?
Aelias (Nate Carr) taught me to fight. Guilliam (Everyone knows Henry) taught me to block. Trent Shadowdragon (Jon Jessop) taught me confidence (or how to fake it), Argus (Rich Crane) taught me to never take it too seriously, Artex (Bill DeMarco) taught me to be sneaky, Cinnabar (Kevin Betie) taught me that if you got him drunk enough, he would pee on people, and Mike Amend (Slaader, and he has other far less important characters) taught me a lot about what a friend should be, in game and out.  All of these people, and everyone else taught me what it meant to be a part of the game.  It didn't matter how rowdy, rude or dickish anyone was, they all had a deep reverence for the game.  That's what makes it so damn special. 

What was your best moment IC?
Hands down was putting Slaader back together when he broke.  Being disemboweled by Twenaria, weeping openly when he was making pizza pies at Green & Gold, relieved to see him alive.  I left the game for a while, and IC Dhamon was looking for other pieces.  When I came back in '08 for QoH, I learned that people had "fixed" him.  Still unbelieving, Dhamon left again, searching for the lost pieces of Slaader.  That's how he stumbled across Spira and the Southern Realms.  This and the Illinar plot really defined Dhamon's coming out moments, brought my RP to another level. 

What was your best moment as a NPC/EH/Player?
As an NPC?  I distinctly remember having a blast as an NPC at a Rathkeale event at that park behind the Stop & Shop in New Hampshire, but I don't remember the event.  I wasn't confident enough to play important NPC roles in my early days.  Now I look forward to playing some wonderful parts.  As an EH?  Feast of Achoria A was a blast, and we spent a lot of Jon's money on it, but some people still tell me it was their favorite event of all time, so I guess we did something right.  The Spiran Hero Academy was a big hit out here, and I did my best to introduce the Realms to Oklahoma, including the subtle nuances that you just can't hand over to people.  My crew had a blast, and I'm incredibly proud of them.  My best moment as a Player?  ToC '98, by far.  So many people, so many NPC's, my seventeen year old self had no concept that such an epic time could be had.  I was blown away (thanks, Andy).  Winning second place in the Herald's tourney at the first Ace in The Hole tournaments is a close second.  I had a blast at that event, even though I practiced some poor decision making skills (sorry, Nate). 

What would you like to see changed or developed more in game?
I think what people are doing with the garb swaps and raising money for newbie outfits is awesome, and should be encouraged by the entire player base.  What I'd like to see are people developing ways to make our weapons look better.  The "popsicle stick" moniker that has been around for decades has become so commonplace, and it kinda bothers me with all this new latex/calcamil weapons looking stunningly gorgeous all over the internet.  Yes, I know full well that they're not at all safe for our combat style, I'll put my eye out, and all of that, but I think there are several mediums out there that support more aesthetically pleasing yet still safe for Realms weapons.  I'm currently experimenting with camp foam striking surfaces to see how they hold up.  I also love the long-running plot lines like Illinar and Bedlam, and hope to hear about more of them (and integrate them into our events down here!). 

What advice would you give new players? 
Frequently, people say "talk to everyone" here.  While this is good advice, I know that not everyone has the confidence or even the desire to talk to a collection of strange, new people, regardless of how willing the community is to respond.  For those newbies, I say this:  Watch.  Listen.  You'll know when you're ready to write your name on a tournament entry sheet, ask someone to teach you a spell, or interact as your character as opposed to a nervous version of yourself.  When you're ready to dive in, do it with guts and gusto, and let yourself become a part of the community.  You'll inevitably make friends, fight monsters, meet crazy seers and have a fantastic time.  Trust me. 

What do you love most about the game?
The community.  The people.  I would get giddy with anticipation to see my Realms crew, and I'm the kind of person who could just hang out with the House of Sloth all weekend if they were my people.  And y'all are my people, every last one of you. 

Who would you like to see the next interview be with?
Jon Jessop (Trent Shadowdragon), you're next, sir. 

Anything else you'd like to take the opportunity to put into print? 
It's been an amazing experience to be able to put together an event down here in Oklahoma.  It comes with it's own set of challenges, from dealing with a group from a full or significant force LARP group (Dagorhir, Amtgard) and integrating them with the people I trained and people from other lightest touch groups.  Not a single one of them allows head shots, and all of them have their preferred weapon construction techniques.  My goal is to make the Oklahoma City metro area THE midwest LARP destination with our events.  Finding non-public park event sites with accessible facilities, teaching 60 people the rules, etc.  The list goes on.  As you've likely seen from pictures, we have good looking garb dp fsr and I have very skilled people at my side on this, and I am incredibly excited for things to come!


  1. Memorable Cole moment as an NPC: Silent Bob! You were perfect and had one-liners to put "Jay" (Argus) in his place or to put some knowledge/info out there in a Swami-like fashion.

    This comment took so much eeeeeffforrrttt...

    1. HAH! I had completely forgotten about the Jay and Silent Bob event! I had a blast leaning against the tavern wall. =)

  2. That teddy beat still hits on me. It doesn't scare me. I think this intimidating thing is lie.

    And how could you forget being Silent Bob! I think that was the best role for you, and you did such an awesome job.

    That being said, you Sir are the one who introduced me to this crazy game, and I thank you for that. That's right people, I am officially Cole's fault. :)