Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Picture Puzzle - Who Is It?

Today's challenge is to tell us who this is? After the break is the full picture but before that we only provide a small portion of that picture. So give us your best guess in the comments and then check the answer for yourself. (photo by Angela Earle Gray)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Question of the Week - 125

How bad does it have to be before an event should be cancelled due to bad weather?

Friday, December 27, 2013

What You Missed- UCCT2

Photo by Casey Lemay - 2013

Photo by Casey Lemay - 2013
Photo by Jesse Gifford - 2013

Photo by Jesse Gifford - 2013

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Funny Pictures

In this series, we're posting some unique pictures of us as we play in the Realms. The challenge we present to you is to provide us with funny captions for the pictures in the comments section. Try to keep 'em relatively clean and fun. (Photo by Dustin Mack)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

On the Order- The Knights of Eagle's Rook (The Order of Eagle's Rook)

What year was your Knighthood formed?
Photo by Megan Matulewicz

1993, by Sir Gunnar (Steve Johnson)

What does your knighthood stand for?

The Knights of Eagle’s Rook are devoted to upholding the selfless ideals of knighthood – championing the cause of good, standing up for what is right, and protecting those who cannot protect themselves. We strive to be paragons of virtue.

What are your tenants?

The Code of Eagle’s Rook is as follows:

I shall tread only upon the paths of honor, for a true knight knows no other way.


I shall harbor neither fear nor self-doubt, for there is nothing I cannot accomplish.

I shall be true to myself, in word and in deed, in spirit and in arms.
Photo by Robyn Nielsen

What is your symbol?

  • Squires of the Knights of Eagle’s Rook wear a plain blue belt.
  • Knights of Eagle’s Rook wear the same blue belt with a white rook stamped on the tip.
  • Knights are also the only members of Eagle’s Rook who are allowed to wear white tabards with the blue rook.

Did you have a traditional Knightly power, if so what was it?

Originally the Knights of Eagle’s Rook knightly power allowed knights to close gates to Faerie at will, but it evolved over the years to allow knights to physically hold magic gates or portals open or closed for a short period of time (usually 30 seconds).

Photo by Angela Gray
What do you look for when selecting squires?

Integrity and strength of character. Not just a willingness to learn, but a desire to grow personally.
Good hair doesn’t hurt but is not a requirement.

What is your squiring process like?

It will vary with each squire but there is usually a period of getting to know other members of the knighthood and performing some preliminary tasks. Once we get to a point where both the candidate and the knighthood feel it is definitely a good fit, they are officially made a squire. The criteria for someone to be knighted will vary because each squire will have different goals.

Who is your current Knight Commander?

Sir Vawn Coupant

Who are your currently active Knights?

Sir Vawn, Sir Adara, and Sir Mikail are our currently active knights. The current actives squires include Hermian, Draco, Valerie, Liselle, and Balthazar.

Photo by Jesse Gifford
Do you have any interesting stories from your Knighthoods past?

There are several on the Realmsnet site “Tales” section that stand out - Sir Gunnar's Tale, Ode to Lady Anne, and The Mists of the Fay. Lady Anne’s own The Ballad of Sir Pyr Thalax is a very well written tribute.

More recent tales can be heard for the asking.

Anything else?

Eagle’s Rook is one of the original Knightocracies in the Realms, meaning the country is governed by the KoER and the position of Lord is held by the Knight Commander.  Despite that, the Knighthood is not a national order focused on advancing the country above all else. It is dedicated to the universal adherence of our ideals, even when they may conflict with the interests of one’s friends, nation, or religion. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Why I Want To Go - Cold As Ice

Cold As Ice
December 29, 2013 (Sunday 11am) - December 29, 2013 (Sunday 5pm)
Event Type:Unknown

This event is capped at 30 players. It is also being held outdoors so dress warmly and bring back up clothes in case you get wet. In fact, while the event is free, donations of food, snacks and warm drink is suggested. As to what type of event it will be there is not mentioned.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Question of the Week - 124

What are some positive things about pvp (player vs player)?

Friday, December 20, 2013

You're a Crappy Magic-User by Mike "Panther" Palumbo

Those paste-eatin' magic-users say we don't like puzzles, they say we ain't that smart, they say we got more brawn than brains. Let's see what we can do to dis-SPELL those rumors...

You're a Crappy Magic-User by Mike Palumbo

So a fighter has a variety of...oh, I'm sorry. Did you think I was going to talk about Magic-Users?  No, I'm not qualified. Jeremy Grayson (Nighthawk) once said I should write the Fighters Guide to the Magic System, here it is:

When you hear a Magic-User cast a spell, say "What's that do?"  Then do what he tells you.

No, my intent here is not to talk about what it takes to be a Magic-User, but rather how a great fighter is just a crappy Magic-User.  Just go with it.

A fighter has a variety of skill-sets and tools at their disposal: Speed, Strength, Technique, and Footwork are just a few examples. These are not unlike the tools in a Magic-Users toolbox: Math, Pattern Recognition, Logical Process, etc.

As a fighter, you approach each opponent with your toolbox, and if you've seen this opponent before, you may have some information already, if not then you need to get some. The fighter uses his skills and tools to solve the puzzle of his opponent in much the same way a Magic-User tries to solve a questing puzzle. They start with the information gathering, what does it do when I do this, or this? How does it look, does it have long arms, a weak stance, does it follow a pattern? How fast does it react? Is it weak in the arms? And so on.

In both the case of the Fighter and the Magic-User, every tool in their toolbox is deployed selectively, meaning that you might have strength, but there will be times you let go. You might have speed, but there will be times you go slow. You might have a good defense, but there will be times you show a hole in it. You may be agressive, but at times you back off. let's look at a few concrete examples.

When a magic-user approaches a puzzle, it's nice to know how much they can try without risk. Very quickly they assess whether they can experiment with the puzzle and whether there is any risk in doing so. Will it blow up if they try something?  No, okay then lets try stuff.

When a fighter faces off against an opponent, you have to quickly assess how much testing you can do. Is it one fight, winner lives on, is it best out of three or more, or just practice? In one fight, your experimenting can't be too risky. But in best out of three, you can try something risky in that first fight, just to see how it goes. If it fails, you still have two more fights to be conservative. If it doesn't, you are halfway to victory already, and can potentially use it again if your opponent doesn't adjust quickly.  And even if you loose, seeing their first attack and subsequent moves can tell you a lot about how to solve the puzzle of beating them.

With just one fight, you can't be so risky, but you still need information. You engage in a series of low-risk tests to see how the opponent reacts. If you change your stance, do they adjust something? If you suddenly tense up and make like you are going to attack, do they react quickly? Where do they instincitively put their block, and do they move to counter attack? Which side does it come from? Do they block their eyes with their shield? Do they back off or get more aggressive?

Here's another example: Ever hear the expression, you have to know the rules to know when to break the rules? Well contrary to everything you've been taught about proper defense, there are times when you want to let your guard down. There are two ways this can be useful. The first is by opening a hole or presenting a juicy target for your opponent.  When they strike at what they believe to be a mistake on your part, you counter with the appropriate counter attack. But in this case, you don't have to wait until you see the attack and where it's going. You know where it's going, because you gave it to them. You can initiate your counter as soon as you see them move to attack.   Effectively, you know where they are going to go, before they actually get there.

The second way you can use a lax guard is in combination with moving in and out of range. Fighters, particular good fighters, know their range. They know exactly where the line is between, "I can hit you and you can hit me," and "we can't hit each other." Many fighters are so in tune with this line, that they set themselves when they find this place. By that I mean, they tense up, hunker down in their stance, and hold their weapons at the ready, game-face on and ready for combat.  To the opponent this signals: This guy is ready for combat! And their reaction will be to set themselves as well. So rather than telegraph that you're ready to fight, let it be a surprise. Instead of finding that place and setting your body, try to be more fluid and more relaxed. Move in and out of range and don't set. At times it will make your opponent think you are not ready for combat, and by that I mean, you aren't likely to attack. The result is they are not ready to defend. If you can step into range without setting, and throw an attack while they subconciously think you aren't ready to, you might land that attack. Your opponent won't be completely off guard, just slightly off. Just enough to wonder why they aren't reacting fast enough.

The biggest most important factor in solving the puzzle is knowledge, knowing what's going to happen before it happens. If you know what they are going to do with their first attack, you can plan for it, and have a counter in mind. Whether you use logic, pattern recognition, or duplicty there's a word for that, it's called intelligence. The more you know about them and how they fight, the more you can employ the proper tool to win the fight.

So while it's true, for every tool or skill in your toolbox there are reasons to do the opposite, there is one skill for which that is never true. It might be necessary to play dumb, but it's never necessary to be dumb. Intelligence is the primary factor in solving the puzzle, and so I submit that fighters are simply crappy magic-users, in that they use the same primary skill, but produce no magic.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Funny Pictures

In this series, we're posting some unique pictures of us as we play in the Realms. The challenge we present to you is to provide us with funny captions for the pictures in the comments section. Try to keep 'em relatively clean and fun. (Photo by Jesse Gifford)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

On the Order- Magi of the Realms

Photo by Jesse Gifford
What is your Knighthood? 

The Magi of the Realms

What year was your Knighthood formed? 


What does your knighthood stand for?
The Magi of the Realms stands for excellence in spellcasting, celebrating the role of the mage in the Realms , and positively contributing to the community.
Photo by Matt Norris

What are your tenants? 
1. Seek Knowledge. Ignorance = Death
2. Spread Wisdom.  Experience unspoken is lost.
3. Ascertain the Unknown.  Life not questioned is wasted.
4. Quest until the last quest is done.
5. Support the role of magic in the Realms.

Photo by Angela Gray

What is your symbol?

Did you have a traditional Knightly power, if so what was it? 
The power of the order centered around the call of "Mage", similar to the traditional call of Knight by the KoR and KoEF.  A call of Mage "does something" so long as it does not cause harm to the Realms.  That does not mean it won't cause harm to the Magus using the call.  It is up to the event holder or magic marshal what the call
actually does, but it has been known to to anything like enhance the casting of a spell, to accidentally blowing the Magus up, and everything in between.

What do you look for when selecting squires? 
Apprentices are looked at for their potential to do well as a spell caster in the game.  Apprentices are taken if the Magus feels they have something to teach the apprentice or can help the apprentice grow as a caster.  Candidates for apprentices are usually discussed with the Magi as a whole.

What is your squiring process like?  
Photo by Dustin Mack
The process varies depending on the individual apprentice and their mentoring Magus.  Some Magi will assign tasks to all apprentices.
Photo by Amy Fleury
When a Magus feels that they have nothing left to teach their apprentice or that they could learn more working on their own, the apprentice is graduated out of the Order.  This "kicking out" process is somewhat unique to the Magi.  The former apprentice is given a favor noting their completion of the apprenticeship and is told to go out and make a name for themselves as a mage. Being taken as an apprentice is no guarantee of eventually becoming a Magus of the Realms.

Who is your current  Knight Commander? 
Photo by Angela Gray
Magus Faelinn Shadowmoon

Who are your currently active Knights? 
Photo by Angela Gray
Bright Oakfellow
Alexander Cecil
Rel Zhirah
Faelinn Shadowmoon
Zula Darkwillow
Atticus the Red

Inactive members of the Order:Stuart
Heron Silver
Shalindra Darkmoon
Zeek McKrye

Photo by Angela Gray

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Why I Want To Go - A Very Merry Yule at Uncle Cecil's Crazy Tavern 2

A Very Merry Yule at Uncle Cecil's Crazy Tavern 2
December 21, 2013 (Saturday 12pm) - December 22, 2013 (Sunday 2pm)
Event Type: Questing/Social

This is one of the most eagerly looked forward to events all year long. There is some light questing during the day - it is usually well done and fun. However, it is at night that the event really hits it's mark. This is when players can be their characters in a relaxed, sometimes silly, atmosphere. This is when you can see other characters in a new light. Overall this is a truly unique and fun event that does an excellent job of wrapping up the year's seasons of events.

One thing to bear in mind is that there is a fair amount of alcohol consumption at this event during the evening. If you or someone you are planning on bringing, such as children, are uncomfortable with this sort of activity, I would recommend leaving after the day questing.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Question of the Week - 123

Should 3-path caster be allowed to use bows and javelins?

Friday, December 13, 2013

10 Questions - Josh "Lako" Fitzgerald

Josh "Lako" Fitzgerald

How long have you been playing?
Photo by Jesse Gifford
10 Years Feast of Leviathan will mark the beginning of my 11th

How has the game changed since you've been playing?
This is a question I've thought long and hard about many times, in the end the big one I can answer is Traditions. I feel the game used to have more traditions than it does now. I remember my first event watching Cecil stomp around sniffing people cause the Order of the Spoons spoon was taken. Apparently this happened a lot more in prior years. I remember prizes being given out at the end of tourneys things people could really be proud of and had a story behind them. Unique tourneys that were different at every Event. It may be just from my view but I feel that is what has changed and I feel its a loss. The little things at events and in our game are what make the stories the laughter and its what kept me coming back for years, I would really like to start seeing some new traditions and maybe old ones come back... Bread wars all im saying.

Who have you learned the most from?
I have tossed this over in my mind for hours, I could go through and name a ton of people, possibly the majority of the game has taught me how to live and laugh. However as far as the ones who have pushed me the furthest to learn? I have to give that credit to Grimloch. My time with them I learned a lot of valuable lessons I still carry today. Never make anyone do something your not willing to do yourself. NPC every third event, push yourself to your best and be bready to show others the same, those are to name a few but in truth it wasn't until the group and I went separate ways that I got the biggest lesson from them, I learned to stand on my own two feet, that the choices we make have to be lived with and that you have to make the best of a situation you never thought you'd be in.  As a player in this game I feel that I have not only grown as my Character and as a Person, so to them I say Thank you.

In the End I owe that to Josh Learned (Shandar) for introducing me to this wonderful world and people, Thank you for hitting me with a Magic Missile while walking in school my Freshman year.

What was your best moment IC?
There are so many to name i'll put just small tidbits so the people who were there will know about them and then i'll pick one: Super Secret Troll 007, Insane Lich Snow Angels, Zombies assaulting the Lonetree Castle
QoH Bridge battle Grimloch team Jaha of about 17 vs Folkestone who i believe had 30 or 40+ I was in my mystic Forge fixing the entire line and being the main healer. I like to think I was the first person to use a forge this way and this effectively, as well as cause all the Bridge and Castle battles in our game to get timed but I may just be cocky. Anyways we ended up winning, That had to be one of my proudest moments was to walk away from that Victorious.

Photo by Cathy Hopkins

What was your best moment as a NPC/EH/Player?
My favorite had to be at Koef last year. Lako had fallen into a pit of some sort that had you go talk to the EH. Well I fell in and the EH had to figure out a way to not have Lako ticked out, with his help we decided Lako became empowered by Harlequin and Blessed as a Vessel for a Death Jester (Harlequin Angel) named Pennywise. At just about dark I waited outside the tavern ( G&G site) near the parking lot just outside the light coming from inside. All you could see was a silhouette of something. First person to notice me was Grebinar and he couldn't make out what I was so he started getting other peoples attention. When I had a good enough crowd I let out the best Clown/ Maniacal laughter I could and went running up the road. all I heard coming from the Tavern was "What the @#$% was that!" and "Holy $%^& guys there is something out there. At which point i had already run around the tavern and come barreling up the stairs past the windows and over the railing. All the Pc's came running outside to see what it was and I was already back at my original spot in front of the Parking lot. This time the Pc's began creeping up into the dark to see what was crouching just outside their view. I waited until a good majority of them were past the porch and onto the grass when I came running down toward them Laughing and screaming, the were tripping over themselves trying to get back inside. I slowly made my way inside after messing with the PCs a few more times and there were much more shenanigans inside. However at this time I'll just say if you want to hear more just ask. The costume I was wearing was just the mask I wear on my belt but I made the best of what I had.

What would you like to see changed or developed more in game?
I actually think what I want is beginning to happen, I'm really trying to help along more garb in the game and more time spent IC and not talking about OOC stuff or carrying around sodas and such I'm starting to see tankards from duct tape, or IC cups I want the Curtain of Fantasy to remain closed as much as possible. Another thing that might be cool is awards at some of the larger events for the best IC camp/ IC gear. Things that make the game more immersing, cross over plot lines. Invading NPCs during tourneys, more gold flow at quests ( price off event fee for bring x amount of gold then hadn out to NPCs), random merchants to buy from. anything that makes the realms feel like a world and not a set of stories told every weekend. Random NPCS at events like TOC and QOH that are supposed to be "towns folk" and the such I know this comes down to needed staff. I also would like to see relations with other larps go up maybe we staff some of their events in exchange they staff ours, most likely not as combat NPCs but non coms might add to the feel of things.

What advice would you give new players?
Get to know everyone, everyone in this game has a story or ten to tell. Never limit yourself to one group of people you will miss out on so much of the community. Learn from everyone you can and learn anything you can, even if you dont like fighting take some time to learn, don't like casting? Give it a shot. If you come into the game as an independent or find yourself one very soon after joining find a group of friends you like to be around but meet everyone you can. If their is one thing I can say about this game is that it is made up of some of the greatest people I know. These are people who will give you the shirt off your back if you need it and they can teach you so much more than what this game is. Take a look back through the old interviews, I bet I'm not the only one who has said that this game has changed their life for the better. Take your character seriously but don't tie yourself to a story so much you miss out on the fun. Get a basic Idea of what you want and let the rest build itself.

What do you love most about the game?
The community, the friendships, the support, the memories, and the desire to see more of it and help it grow so that the realms lives on for the next generation to enjoy.

Who would you like to see the next interview be with?
Either you Callin, or Vawn

Anything else you'd like to take the opportunity to put into print?
Thank you. To everyone in this game and everything that has come from it Thank you to everyone I know. This game is family for the best times or the worst times I will always be coming back because you can never leave your family.

Also apologies for the terrible grammar I wrote this at 5 Am after working ten hours.  Also good luck finding any early pics of me only one I know of is at Feast of the Seven tides.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Funny Pictures

In this series, we're posting some unique pictures of us as we play in the Realms. The challenge we present to you is to provide us with funny captions for the pictures in the comments section. Try to keep 'em relatively clean and fun. (Photo by Jesse Gifford)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

On the Order- Knights of Creathorne (Dragonsbane)

The Knights of Creathorne (Dragonsbane)

What year was your Knighthood formed?

Photo by Jesse Gifford
The Knights of Dragonsbane were founded in 1993. There were three orders formed, the Knights of the White Dragon, the Knights of the Red Dragon, and the Knights of the Silver Dragon.

No more Knights of Dragonsbane are being made at this time due to Lord Stirling having retired from the Realms without handing off the ability to knight new members.

The Knights of Dragonsbane (order of the red dragons) formed the Knights of Creathorne in 1997.

What does your knighthood stand for?

The motto is : Varya I Milya ”Your position is a place of service, you hold this honor to do for others what they cannot do for themselves.”

What are your tenets?

The tenets are not shared outsider the order.

What is your symbol?

Symbol of the Knights of Dragonsbane
Symbol of the Knights of Creathorne

Did you have a traditional Knightly power, if so what was it?
Photo by Robyn Nielsen 
The knightly power is only known OOC, no one, including the knights, knows how it works IC. Originally it was that as long as the knights do not scalp they cannot be scalped (at that time you had to carry a scalp if you wanted to scalp in the game), then due to a rule change making all players to have to carry a scalp the power later changed to that the knights can only be scalped by magical weapon blows and or the game rules (such as being dead at the end of an event).

What do you look for when selecting squires?
1.The right person
2.Scalping is not permitted 3.They cannot be a member of another knighthood including honorary members.

What is your squiring process like?
Tasks given vary by individual.

The order may only have one paige or one squire at a time. Both of these are two year paths, together making up four of the five years. If someone skips the paige section then the individual, after completing their squireship, will spend two years as an esquire to account for the two years missed (this is rare).

Photo by Frank Rapant
Knight Errant: This is that last and final year of the five year program. The year when you really prove that you deserve to become a knight to not just those around you but to yourself.

Imari of Creathorne and Tak of Fairhaven are in the program at this time

Who is your current Knight Commander?
Sir Shean O’Quinnlin is the knight commander or the Knights of Dragonsbane thus making him the knight commander of the Knights of Creathorne however he is not a member of the Knights of Creathorne he is the last active member of the Knights of Dragonsbane.

Who are your currently active Knights?
Dame Freesia Denire

Do you have any interesting stories from your Knighthoods past?
Talk to individual knights about their stories

Anything else?
Other Knights of Drgonsbane: Sir Darkwing(owd), Sir Twani Marah (osd), Dame Zepher (ord)

Other Knights of Creathorne Sir Torin Silverbow

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Why I Want To Go - The Huntress Guild Presents: Tournaments of Artemis III

The Huntress Guild Presents: Tournaments of Artemis III
December 14, 2013 (Saturday 12pm) - December 14, 2013 (Saturday 6pm)
Event Type: Tournaments

This looks to be a solid day of tournaments. There will be some individual tournaments using the new tiered system followed by team competitions. The teams will be determined the day of the event and require no special team make-up. If fighting is not your thing there will be other activities available including the Blackwood Casino. Casters will also be allowed to "be a fighter" for the day so they can better enjoy the tournaments.

The Huntress Guild was set up a few years ago to promote female fighters within the Realms and has done an excellent job in this goal for some time now. This event is designed to raise funds for the Huntress Guild so they can provide weaponry and armor for the women fighters in our community. Coming to the event will show your support for this cause.

Monday, December 9, 2013

View From Valehaven Awards Nominations

It is that time of year again. realmsnet.net has just posted the nomination form for the View From Valehaven Awards. This is when you submit who and what you think should be put up for voting. The nominations run until December 26th. Soon thereafter the official voting process will begin, but this is your chance to make note of who/what you think should be nominated!

Question of the Week - 122

What do you think about spell resets? Do you think there should be more of them over the course of an event? Do you think they make events too easy? Do you expect them at certain times of the event (such as the morning of the second day of an event)?

Friday, December 6, 2013

Picture Puzzle - Who Is It?

Today's challenge is to tell us who this is? After the break is the full picture but before that we only provide a small portion of that picture. So give us your best guess in the comments and then check the answer for yourself. (photo by Angela Earle Gray)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Funny Pictures

In this series, we're posting some unique pictures of us as we play in the Realms. The challenge we present to you is to provide us with funny captions for the pictures in the comments section. Try to keep 'em relatively clean and fun. (Photo by Jesse Gifford)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Why I Want To Go - Feast of Autumn's Twilight III

Feast of Autumn's Twilight III
December 7, 2013 (Saturday 12pm) - December 7, 2013 (Saturday 6pm)
Event Type: Feast

This is the third event in the series of feasts which has provided excellent food and a nice relaxing atmosphere of games and socializing. The food is always well done, interesting and unique. In between the courses there is plenty of time to socialize and play games. As usual there is a player, so it is recommended you check out the event write-up to see if there is still room or contact the eventholders.

This is one event that is quickly becoming a must-not-miss feast.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Why I Want To Go - Tavern Night at World End

Tavern Night at World End: We need a new name
December 6, 2013 (Friday 7pm) - December 7, 2013 (Saturday 1am)
Event Type: Feast/Party

This is a nice little get together on a Friday night. This will be all about socializing in-character in a relaxed atmosphere. There will be alcohol, but since people will need to drive home at the end of the event, there will be a limit. If you are looking for a relaxing and fun time, this will be it.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Question of the Week - 121

Titles. Do you use a character's titles when speaking to them? Do you think people should?