Thursday, May 25, 2017

Ask the Editors



Ask the Editors
By, 
The Editors 
Episode 6




Welcome back, fellow Realmsies, to the great articles series about questions and answers! This week's question comes to us via email and boy is it a doozy!

"What makes an event NOT enjoyable for you?"
~Anonymous


Well, this has the potential to create some flavorful responses. Lets see what we get, shall we?

Lets start with Lani “Gwen” Grayson:

“In order to answer this question, we decided to focus first on what makes events fun. Events are fun because you get to see people, and because you get to see people having fun. It’s fun to interact with the world that event holders provide, and even if that is occasionally lackluster, there is always a way to make your own fun. Nighthawk, he’s a collector, and it cracks me up to see him at the end of the event covered in event schlock. Ultimately, every event has the potential to be fun, but only if the player enters the event with the right mindset.

When events aren’t fun for me, it is usually because my mindset isn’t in the right place, or the people around me are generally grumbling. I think sometimes we get in a very critical mindset when we are at events, it can be easy to critique each and every detail. However, as an event holder, I know that even the best laid plans go awry sometimes, and that even a struggling event can be saved by PC’s who are willing to approach situations with a positive attitude. So ask not what your event holders can do to improve your fun, but what you can do to improve the fun factor at each and every event you attend.”

So, Nighthawk is a hoarder and we should all work together to make things fun, got it!

Speaking of Jeremy "Nighthawk' Grayson, he didn't write anything this week so we'll just leave this photo of him here...

He took up more space than usual this week


Next, we hear from Alex “Lucas” Newbold:

“Inconsistencies

That’s what ruins an event for me.

Does one Combat Marshal call someone out as dead for a toe over the line of the bridge? Does the Marshal on the other side of the bridge let people slide back and forth over the line? Does an NPC regenerate at a 60 second count? Does the next NPC regenerate, after counting to 60?

I know that “there is a gray area” when it comes to making Marshaling calls, but how often do major war maneuvers end in bad blood and angry glares over a single call? If you’ve never had an NPC regenerate in an eye blink and wreck you, you’re a liar.

NPC’s are often briefed about their abilities and “their fighting level”; but sometimes they can get over powered, or overzealous in their application. It happens, most of the time NPC teams reign themselves in, usually when a more experienced NPC says something.

Bad plots, and poorly planned tournaments are part of the game. Experimenting with new ideas, and new concepts, sometimes it works, and sometimes it stinks on toast. Both have a happy medium, which can be obtained by communication from the Head Marshal and the Head NPC/EH to their staff. Long running event series, tend to get a better turn out as their reputation often precedes them. Knowing that in the past, Marshals have been consistent in their calls, or NPC’s have been consistent in their behavior, makes it more likely for me to attend an event.”

Very consistent answer! And as an added bonus, it all fit on one page.

Next, let's see what Sara 'Zarine' Jessop has to complain about:

“There are a lot of little things that make events not fun for me. By themselves they may not be a big deal, but when a lot of them start to add up the whole quality of the experience begins to decline. Some of these things are outside of anyone's control: bad weather, lack of attendance, travel time to site vs time spent on site, poor sleeping accommodations, etc, are all things that an event holder can't control but can suck away some of the overall fun of the weekend and make me decide to stay home.

There are a lot of things that are in an EH's control. Marshals and/or NPCs are their own people but they need to be managed properly. I have known some great people to do a poor job at these due to lack of leadership, lack of communication, frustration, not enough help, etc. Plots need to be engaging, inclusive, and consistent, otherwise people get bored and start talking about OOC things because there is nothing IC holding their attention. Tournaments need to be marshaled consistently, run efficiently, and interesting and engaging to both participants and spectators (though more important for the participants, many single/limited combatant tournaments have more spectators then participants).

I think we all know that I am a very critical person. I tend to focus on the negative side of just about everything. So some of what makes events 'not fun' is my own fault. I could focus more on the good things and encourage others to do the same rather than sit around grumbling about how much everything sucks. Negativity spreads quickly, and we should all actively try to be better about curbing that and trying to have fun instead. Unfortunately some of us are just old and curmudgeonly and it's not the easiest thing to do, but we could certainly do better.”

Don't be a whiny brat, got it. Next we hear from Jen “Areni” DeNardis-Rosa

"There are a few things, such as too much downtime/ long "loading screens" and not enough NPCs, that can decrease the enjoyment of an event for me that I think would be true for most players. But there is something else that bothers me that may not be as noticeable, and that is when players don't appreciate the hard work of others. Realms is a community-based game; events are thrown by players and groups, not by a central governing body, and there can be as many different plots as there are event-holders. People put differing amounts of time, money, and effort into their events according to their means, their level of experience with event-holding, and their vision for how they want it to run. Some people/ groups may have it down to a science, and others may still be learning. Regardless, people throwing events means people care about the game and want it to thrive, and we as a community should do what we can to show our support.

Whether through event attendance, EH mentoring, NPC'ing, providing feedback or reviews, lending props, etc, it all has a direct benefit on the continuation of the game.
I’ve noticed an unfortunate trend where people can be quick to dismiss the effort that others put into making our game run. Not everyone is ultimately successful every time they try to create things and throw events, but I believe people are trying hard with good intentions because they love our community."

Don't be ungrateful. Excellent advice. 

Thank you for joining us this week. It was a very good question to hopefully help eventholders and event goers alike in how we can all have fun like the Omnibus says we are supposed to. It seems a common theme in our responses is that each and every one of us has some control over how much fun we are having and how unhappy we are. Like Bing Crosby once told us, “You've got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative...” And we as a community can all keep this in mind and make an effort to add to the fun, rather than detracting from it.

Join us next week when we explore the question "Define what a questing event is, in your eyes....”

Questions can be sent to Sara “Zarine” Jessop via email (Sarajjesop@gmail.com), facebook messenger, or in person. The question box will also be making the rounds at various events. Please note if you'd like your question to remain anonymous and/or if you would like to address specific editors


















Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Why I Want to Go… Tournaments of Creathorne 24

By Becky "Naralia" Garbos (not a writer)

Do you like tournaments? Maybe you prefer a great night quest? Or is a feast more your speed? Well,
Tournaments of Creathorne has all three, plus so much more. At ToC we have something for everybody.

For our Tournament loving guests, we have all kinds of tournaments to participate in. We have combat tournaments in both limited and unlimited styles for you to test your physical strength. You can look forward to tournaments such as Dinky Weapon of Doom, Florentine, Corsican Mug, etc. Do you prefer to have your friends fight with you? Join the 5 Person or Spirit & Steel. We have several live steel tournaments for those of you who like to play with sharper things in life. Are you more of a lover than a fighter? We have tournaments for you too. These tournaments require a lot of thinking. You can look forward to Chess, Monopoly, Risk, and Jenga. We also have lots of card tournaments as well. Munchkin and Magic the Gathering are favorites among the card players.We have tournaments to keep the gamblers and sneaky folks busy as well.

Our Plot Master has an amazing night quest planned. I can’t go into details about it. But just know… it’sgonna be AMAZBALLS!!!

We have a feast on Saturday. No need to worry about cooking your own. We do it for you. We have burgers, dogs, chicken, salad, and pasta. Also on Sunday, we will be having a breakfast for a suggested donation of $5 made by the Gamblers Guild. Every year we give the donations to a worthy cause. In the past we’ve done the Step Out:Walk to Stop Diabetes and Bud’s cause.

This is an event that seems to bring out everybody. Newbies and Oldbies alike. People from all over the Realms seems to make sure they have the time off for this event. It is filled with history and tradition. It’s the first event for a lot of people.

So, why do I want to go to ToC? Well, besides being the EH and Having to go, I would want to go because it has so much to do. And a lot of my friends are there. It’s relaxing and loads of fun for everyone. ToC is the reason I started playing this game.



Some pictures from last year:
Live knife throwing

Individual tournaments

Checkers tourney

Monopoly Tournament

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

I Can't Even



I Can't Even...
By, 
Sara 'Zarine' Jessop
… Unnecessary Necessities



Hello again plebs! I apologize for last week. We had some big changes at the bathhouse and I just could not find the time to write a witty article. But that is all cleared up now, and I am back with you this week. As luck would have it, there is quite a large event coming up this weekend and I have advice to dispense!

The discussion has already begin on the Argument Board about all the necessary items to bring along with you this weekend. List upon list of what people think are the most important things to pack in your already overloaded carriage. Socks, undergarments, socks, bedding, socks, tents, socks, food, socks, etc, etc, socks.... You get the idea. Things you will actually need to survive the weekend in relative comfort. Well, dear reader, I have a completely different list for you: Things you absolutely do not need but should totally bring.

Just because something isn't necessary for your survival doesn't mean that you shouldn't bring it. I remember, long ago when I was a green adventurer in these Realms, that I would pack up my carriage with whatever clothing I grabbed last minute, my spell book and dagger, and like no less than eight people. Not a tent or sleeping bag between us, we somehow all slept in that tiny carriage like sardines in a can (and trust me, after three days of that we all smelled like them too). Well, I am not as young as I used to be and now I bring every creature comfort I can fit in my compact sport utility carriage wherein I am the only passenger. I also shove things I don't even need and will probably never even use into Trent's very large carriage just to have even more stuff. Better safe than sorry, right? 

We're gonna need a bigger horse

What could you possibly need to transport besides the bare necessities you ask? You didn't ask? Well, I'm going to tell you anyways, because you never know when one of those unnecessary items will become the most necessary thing on site.

Alcohol. “But Zarine, this is ToC!” Yes, yes, I know that most of us consider all the booze we can find to be totally crucial for this weekend. Yet there are people who attend this annual event who do not imbibe at all. We have a special word for those people: Losers. But, we should respect their decision to be such and concern ourselves only with not being such. If you think you've packed enough hooch, yet you still have space in your carriage, then pack some more. There is always someone who either forgot, couldn't afford it, didn't have room for it, is just a freeloader, or many other reasons where they may have need of your extra stash. And of course you can always contribute to the League meeting or the Fine Ladies Society's tasting.

Horse reviving cables. You know that awkward moment when you are ready to leave for breakfast but your horse is dead? Well, they make these magical cables that transfer some of the life force of a healthy horse into your totally dead horse. Simply hook them together with these special clamps, and voila, your off to breakfast. You would be amazed at how many times only one person on site has these special cables. If you own a horse, you should have them.

Cosmetic face paint. Yes, I know that this is a war tournament, but that doesn't mean you can't look nice. This is mostly for the ladies, but some gentlemen prefer to wear it as well. You should probably stick to a minimal amount while actually fighting and don't be cheap; get the expensive stuff that isn't going to sweat off into your eyeballs and make you question your poor life decisions.

More food. Think you packed enough to not starve all weekend? Well you may have, but someone else may not have. The less fortunate among us need sustenance as well and being part of a community means taking care of everyone in it. Be a good Realmsie and feed your friends. Be an even better one and feed your enemies too.

Extra tents and bedding. Someone will forget theirs. Someone's will get wet for whatever reason best not known to the rest of us. A couple may have a fight and a gentleman may need new accommodations. These things happen and these desperate souls will now be forever in your debt for your timely assistance.

There are many other completely needless things you can bring along. I use maybe a quarter of what I tote to the lands of Creathorne, yet I fill my carriage up anyways. People are always asking me for items that they may have forgotten as they know that I am a storehouse of useless paraphernalia. So please, bring lots of things so that they have someone else to mooch off of.

You see, dear reader, things that seem completely unnecessary can be of great use in certain situations, and wouldn't you like to be useful for once?

See you next Tuesday.

Zarine is the proprietor and Madam at Alchimia Lupanar, a magic marshal approved practitioner of medicine, an award winning author, and has 36 years of experience in giving her unsolicited opinion.














Monday, May 22, 2017

Friday, May 19, 2017

Memory Shard

Memory Shard
Performed by: Janna "an unknown Fae Bard" Oakfellow-Pushee 

Feast of Chimeron XVII
Date: May 2nd, 1002 M.R.
(An Innocent Man base lyrics - Billy Joel) New Tune with Filk Lyrics

Some mortals stay far away from the lore
If there's a chance of it screwing them up
They hear a voice outside their windows
And hope that it just goes away
Some mortals live with the fear of their touch
And the anger of having to be fae
They will not listen to any tale
So nobody jinxes their fate
I know you're only defending yourself
I know you're thinking of somebody else
Someone who hurt you...

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Ask the Editors

Ask the Editors 
by, 
The Editors 
Episode 5 

Hello, and welcome back to our fun little column where you ask and we answer. This weeks question comes to us via email: 

How do you handle your in-game and your out-of-game romances and relationships, if they're not to the same person? (The Hawks, Stromgates, and Harkons are together, but Kiira and Shandar are not IG, for example)
~Anonymous

An excellent question! Unfortunately only a few of us felt comfortable and/or qualified enough to answer, but hopefully you will find them to be fulfilling answers none-the-less. 

First, let's see what Sara 'Zarine' Jessop has to say:

"Game relationships vs real life relationships can be weird. I have had two IC/OOC relationships. My first was with Cole, who along with some other friends introduced me to the game. We decided before I came to my first event that his character, Dhamon, and mine were married. It happened 'off screen' and we never really had to RP anything different than our normal relationship. When we separated I took an extended break from the game, and when I came back Dhamon had moved off to the Southern Realms. I decided that the best way to handle that was for our characters to be 'divorced', and it turns out that Achorian divorce is handled just like everything else in Achoria: by Trent's whim. His whim of the moment was, "sure, whatever", so viola, we were divorced and Zarine was a single woman once again. 

Now, I was not single, I was solidly in a relationship with Lord Sir What's His Face's alter ego Jon. But Zarine was single, so how to handle that? At first I really didn't. At the time I wasn't overly worried about RP as long as I wasn't ruining someone else's so I just let it go as it was, with most of the Realms assuming that Trent and Zarine were a couple. Recently I became far more concerned with the RP aspect of the game (someone has to be, right?), therefore I have been thinking a bit more about what our IC relationship actually is. We spend a lot of time together when we happen to be on the same event site, as do most OOC couples whether they are together in game or not, and I needed a reason for that. So I decided,  without consulting with Jon of course, that we were more like 'friends with benefits' than just friends. Does Zarine want more than that? Well, of course she does, but Trent's not nearly as romantic as Jon, which should tell you all you need to know about just how much of a dried up old shrew Trent is. 
Why is something I just associated with Trent so damn cute?
The hardest part of being in a OOC relationship that is not also IC is that it seems to be impossible to get into an IC one. I've spent a lot of time spreading the word that Zarine is single, but no one seems to want to court her (including my own OOC husband). I often wonder at the reason and the biggest one I can settle on is that people are afraid of OOC consequences. Would it be easier if Trent were the one to court Zarine? Of course it would! I wouldn't have to worry about anyone else's feelings or comfort level with an awkward situation. But I would be willing to have an IC relationship with someone else provided that everyone involved could be mature about it an it did not effect anyone's OOC relationship." 

I feel like she is trying to tell someone something....

And second, how does Lani 'Gwen' Grayson feel about the subject: 

"Ah, Realms relationships. How do you separate OOC and IC? Nighthawk and Gwen did recently get married IC (that ceremony was only slightly shorter than when we actually got married), but Jeremy and I have been together much longer than that. It was a challenge to explain in a meaningful IC way why I would spend so much time with Nighthawk and why on earth he would want to do so many of my dishes. In order to give my character a reason to be hanging around Nighthawk so much, I decided that I would spend time trying to court him IC. Mostly this meant following Nighthawk around and giving him presents. My personal favorites include the heads of plant monsters, the book The Night of the Hawk (which I rescued from a library I visited at Ashenbounty and carried dutifully all day in the rain under my cloak), and pickle rolls that were made for him at a Leviathan held in his honor (To Catch a Hawk).

This courting took many years, in fact, Father Yule once gave me the ability to marry Nighthawk, but that ended in a Borderlands annulment (read: scalping). For those years that we weren’t together officially, but before I began my courting, I didn’t always do a great job of roleplaying the difference in our relationship. By making a conscious decision about how I wanted to play my character’s relationship, I was able to develop my character, have fun, and explain why I would want to spend so much time around Nighthawk."

As you can see, balancing an OOC and IC relationship can be difficult even if it is with the same person. It seems that the most important thing is that everyone involved is comfortable and having fun! We are playing a game after all, and we should be having fun. It's in the rules.

Join us next week, when we answer the great question: "What makes an event NOT enjoyable for you?"

Questions can be sent to Sara “Zarine” Jessop via email ( Sarajjesop@gmail.com), facebook messenger, or in person. The question box will also be making the rounds at various events. Please note if you'd like your question to remain anonymous and/or if you would like to address specific editors







Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Creathorne Spring Clean-Up 2017


By Andrew "Sir Shean" Disbrow

So what all happened? Well about 25 people from all over Realms showed up, it is a requirement for people who use my property to attend spring and fall cleanups or have a body proxy who can/will work on site for those two days... IF they do not then it is an extra $100 per head per event of EH’s…


But many people who are not EH’s using the property showed up and busted ass… Eric Marques showed up with an excavator, did some projects that campsites needed done, popped some small stumps, leveled some areas. Huge thing was we dug a huge moat to the tavern from my garage to run new power lines and water... So now we have water at the sink by the port-a-potties, the sink at the trees and at the tavern to fill the big water jugs. We are still trying to figure out a cold shower situation for people, that will be near the port-a-potties…if we can get on it next weekend…


A bunch of groups worked on site and their camp sites: Gau Dring worked on their camping area and their fire-pit; Invictus, Grimloch, and NA worked on their camping areas. Folkestone put in a bench and worked on their area and I think also worked on Blackwood's a little too…

 
After all the lines were put in the moat came the back-filling and root-pulling, so many roots… So much raking done, so much needs to be done.

 
Sunday: raining, (Rubarb) Liam was still working on the site's fire-pit, Brad Kendal and I were working on big tent stuff in the tavern and making candles on the wood stove. Liam came back in and helped inside with the stuff we needed to do so all the ropes and poles for the second big tent are made. I just have to repair the old big tent top and tents are done.


We will have another cleanup next weekend for the people still working on projects - see people then or at TOC 24!




 (photos courtesy of Andy Disbrow)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

I Can't Even

I Can't Even ...
By, 
Sara 'Zarine' 
... Even

Seriously. Like I just literally can't even this week. 

So, here is a picture of a very dapper little critter to tide you over until I can:


See you next Tuesday



Monday, May 15, 2017

Friday, May 12, 2017

What You Missed, Feast of Chimeron

What You Missed, Feast of Chimeron
Now with Photos!
by Janna "Iawen" Oakfellow-Pushee

All photos by Janna Oakfellow-Pushee

What You Missed Chimeron Edition

What you Mist 
by Neil "Eldritch" Kusleika


I cannot tell you what you missed. I can only tell you of the meager slice of the many available adventures that I was able to experience in my journey to the Feast of Chimeron and the requisite Quests afterward to burn off all those calories. So here’s what you missed. Upon arrival I stowed my gear in one of the spacious and well-appointed cabins. I then staggered for some time through the dark and damp, my way lit through the golden mist by the occasional lamp post, in search of the elusive feast hall. Eventually I discovered the hall and entered the warmth and light of the Chimeron Court greeting friends and settling in for a delicious repast. 

The feast was varied and plentiful and none left hungry that night. The food was released from the kitchens like invading armies, wave after wave. To start there were breads and spreads, crackers and cheese. The soups were warming and delicious. There was a fine spinach salad. Fried zucchini with wasabi ranch sauce, sweet potato fries, caprese skewers, and meatballs. The sliders were a savory delight and the fried chicken and waffles were cooked to perfection. There was a variety of hot and chilled beverages to please all to wash this bounty down. The sweet finale was a combination of the King’s birthday cake that he was gracious enough to share, and as was chosen at Black and White last year, truffles in chocolate, s’mores, and buckeye iterations.

For those that managed to push away from the table there were games of skill as well as games of chance available for distraction, and a bardic contest was held from which Cressida emerged victorious and was made royal bard. .Although full force of the kitchen was felt during Friday’s feast, their labors and generosity continued to be enjoyed throughout the weekend as there was never a lack of delicious snacks to sate one’s hunger. After the feast Chimeron held court welcoming friends and travelers to their celebration, and dealing with matters of import and honor. Laika and Devyn were squired to the Knights of the Crown. Sir Bright donned the surcoat of Rua Thar Cinn. Kovax yielded her place as one of the King’s Twelve questers to Crispin, but was inducted into the royal house of Chimeron. 

The King also graciously received an envoy from the nation of Verai inviting his majesty and his followers to participate in friendly contest at North/South war this year. Other matters too were assuredly brought before the King but escape recollection due to my state of food coma. After what seemed but a moment’s sleep, the day of Chimeron Questing arrived. Adventurers bold and skilled sought to right several issues bringing woe to the lands of Chimeron and Fae. Due to earlier events where the Risen Kingdom gave rise to an iron road passing through the lands of Fae, a rather powerful Fae named Lord Goldmist was becoming increasingly unbalanced and troublesome in his behavior. 

The adventurers sought to find remedy for this problem using both their steel and their wits. The warriors of Ashenmark roamed the land seeking to put steel to wrong doers or other challenges worthy of their mettle. For quite some time. Things became much more exciting once I got away from them. We recovered a deed that might rebind a Fae to the land from a chest locked, and trapped and guarded. We did battle with trolls hurling boulders (one of which was magical stone and is now claimed by myself and Bohizz). We sought to return the lands to their proper balance, and make a few gold in the process. As the darkness fell and after the adventurers took rest and sustenance, we once again ventured into the lands to put things to right seeking out guidance and assistance from a Fae witch, with Rayne sacrificing Seed of Life for a year to power the witch’s magicks. 

Werewolves and other fell creatures roamed the night and met their fate at the point of silver or steel. Troll twins guarded a puzzle that the adventurers needed to solve to acquire objects for the restoration of Lord Goldmist. Meanwhile Ashenmark searched the night for the fearsome Skrunk, using all their skill to hunt it and calling it by name. And suddenly the chase was on with the warriors racing to corner the fell beast. Fierce and terrible was the onslaught of the Skrunk, and many were the wounds that the Ashenmark band endured that would slay lesser men (who didn’t have healers). In the last though their skill and numbers prevailed and the fearsome Skrunk lay dead at their feet, although perhaps it might be consoled to know that it’s last stand will surely be immortalized in song and works of art.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Ask the Editors



Ask the Editors 
By, 
The Editors 
Episode 4 



Hello all, and welcome to Episode 4 of our little series. By now we are getting pretty good at answering your questions and are quite enjoying it. Well, some of us are anyways.

This weeks questions comes to us via email and generated some excellent responses.

“Like them? Hate them? Confusing as all hell? What's your opinion on alternate characters?”

~Anonymous 

Lets get us some answers!

Lani “Gwen” Grayson, what say you?

“I think alternate characters are a mixed bag. Some people have very rich alts with distinctive personalities, national ties, and motivations. I think that those characters can add to the game and make the playing experience richer for those individuals who choose to play that way. Alternatively (pun intended), alt characters can give players an excuse to play a character who never has to face the consequences of their actions, because they can easily slip into an alt for certain player experiences, and then slip out in order to avoid troubling consequences for their choices. I think that if a player is going to have multiple characters, each should be played regularly and developed enough to add to the flavor of the game.”


Alex “Lucas” Newbold?

“Hi, I’m Alex and I’m an alt-o- holic.

Hi Alex!

It started as a simple thing, I made a Rogue and he was fun. But that Cleric had some neat skills, plus armor, so I wanted to give that a whirl. Then there was a Mage with some explosions, and you know how it goes. Start one toon, get bored, move on to the next, and never finish any of the storyline…

But that was in a computer game where it was pretty much Me playing alone, or occasionally in multiplayer mode.

Larps, are a different situation. Especially ones with Nationality, loyalties, and being able to depend upon your nation being there for you. Nations are more than just a crew with matching tabards, they’re folks working together who are like minded and depending upon each other. Lets face it, in the Realms we blur the OOC/IC line a lot when it comes to our nations inner workings. When NationXYZ throws an event everyone from that nation shows up to write plot, to craft, and to staff the event. Except for Jane, because she’s playing her alt that day, because she needs to defeat 7 Golden Droogs for a squirely task that her alt has. Nation123 is gearing up all hands on deck to win the Team Tournament, except for Marcel who is playing his healer alt, who is in Nation456.

Sure, it’s the characters that are different that day. But, we all know that Jane isn’t helping run the event, and we know that Marcel won’t have his pike on the line that day, plus he’ll be healing the folks his team is killing. Your friends see you and see what you’re picking as your priorities. These are two extreme examples, but they’re both ones I’ve witnessed in play.

You want to mix things up and play around with different spell concepts or role playing styles? NPC. Write up a role you’d love to play. If you’re not going to throw an event, ask an Event Holder (weeks before their event, possibly months, this Editor is not responsible for any damage done to you by an EH who you asked the night before their event if you could play LordHighPants the Death Knight because you thought it would be fun.) if they’ve got a role that fits your idea

Considering the fluidity of our game mechanics, and the openness of many an Event Holder there are limitless options out there. Feeling stuck in a rut playing JoeSeff the Bold? Maybe he’s about to have a profound experience during the night quest and decide he needs to learn spells to understand the dark things he saw in Gaol. Is S’shenshen the meek sick and tired of hiding in the back, time to take a bold new direction and shed the meek. Maybe there’s a plot about to be run and the EH needs help teasing it to the Realms to encourage event attendance, maybe your character is in fact the long lost sister of a foreign lord about to arrive at the next Feast?

Besides, this way you won’t have to change your boots with the new character.”

Well, that was... long. 


Lets go to someone who never has a long answer, Jeremy “Nighthawk” Grayson:

“I personally don’t believe in alternate characters. The only time I’ve ever played one is when my main character was indisposed for a year.”

Very informative! 


Lets see what Diana “Kiira” LaPierre thinks:

“Alternate characters are not something that I have a strong opinion about one way or the other. There are both positive and negative effects of alts, of which I will list below:

Pros: You get the opportunity to build a new character from the ground up and let your creative juices flow. You can, potentially, see the game from a whole new point of view. Interact with new, or familiar, people with a whole new persona and role. Escape the responsibilities of your other PC! Your character was three-ticked? Well, there's not really another option than an Alt...

Cons: People will constantly call you by the other character's name. Coming up with a wardrobe for one character is hard enough for most people, never mind two. With the amount of players in our game, it is difficult for characters to become involved in plot lines. Establishing two separate characters in a meaningful way is twice as hard. However long you spend as your alternate character is how long you are neglecting your main PC. More consistency makes the world more realistic and fluid.

Make sure that when you make an alternate character, you consider why you are making the character. If you think you'll have more fun, than go for it. We're all playing this game to have fun... according to the Omnibus, anyway. 


And now, someone who is never short on opinions, Sara “Zarine” Jessop:

“I don't have much of on opinion on the general idea of alts. I have seen people do them well and people do them badly. I always have a hard time playing a character long term who isn't 'me', so I would likely never play one. What would be the point of playing a character that just hangs out with the same people and acts the same? At the same time, I do not believe in completely changing my spells all of the time either. Z is a healer, and I may change things up to be more efficient at that, but it would make zero RP sense for her to suddenly be a sorcerer. If I wanted to have a whole new concept, I would need a whole new character, but I would be unlikely to do that without retiring my main. If you really want to experience a new aspect of the game, or your character just wouldn't be at a given event, I would highly suggest NPCing instead of playing an alt. It's better for the community as a whole and creates a whole lot less confusion.”



And last but not least, Jen “Areni” DeNardis-Rosa:

“Generally I don't mind alternate characters (though I personally do not have one) but I do think that people who have alts often have a tricky line to walk. It's right there in the name - alt. This is not your main character and may not be a character that you play often. This can cause some obvious confusion for people ("Hey Bob!" "No, I just look like Bob, my name is Steve, look at my clothes, does Bob wear these colors?" "Ok, 'person-who-looks-like-Bob-but-isn't.'"). It also has the potential to create friction with others because of when someone chooses (or chooses not to) play their alt, as well as how they choose to play them. If your group is PCing or even NPCing together as a group activity, playing an alt instead could be detrimental to those relationships. There are some potential role-playing issues as well, when the alt interacts with members of the main character's group or friends. It can be difficult to compartmentalize information about which player knows what or is friends with whom in those social situations. All said and done, if someone chooses to have an alternate character, they should be aware of the potential issues that could come up, and would need to be able to balance the expectations of their main character's group or nation with those of the alt's.”


Excellent answers all around. We hope that we made you all think about alternate characters and how they add or detract from our game. How do you feel about alts?

Join us next week, when we answer what has the potential to be an amazing question: “How do you handle your in-game and your out-of-game romances and relationships...?”

Questions can be sent to Sara “Zarine” Jessop via email ( Sarajjesop@gmail.com), facebook messenger, or in person. The question box will also be making the rounds at various events. Please note if you'd like your question to remain anonymous and/or if you would like to address specific editors

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

My First Time


My First Time
(doing a Feast)

By Janna Oakfellow-Pushee



“Mama, whatcha d-doin’?”
“Working on some history for the Ivory Library, baby.”
“Why?”
“Because history’s important, yo.  It’s a way to learn your roots, where you started, and sometimes where mistakes were made and how to become a better person from that.”
“Oh. That sounds hard.”
“It’s a lot more complicated than what I just said, but yes, history can be hard.  Right now I’m working on things in order to get ready for the upcoming feast.”
“Mama, what’s a feast?”
“A place where a great many people sit down and eat lots of food, and play or sing or tell stories, or compete in games, or a whole bunch of other stuff.”
“Like Game Night?”
“Sort of, DanDan.”
“Mama, have you ever d-did… do a feast?”
“Yeah, baby, look here.”  *pulls up the Archives, begins to read out loud the reviews*
“...Mama, a lot of people d-did not like it?”
“No, baby, a lot of people were not fond of it.”
“D-did you… so, did you make the food to make them not like it?”
“Nah, that wasn’t the problem; food was great, I thought. It was--”
“Well, how was it your feast if you did-nit not make the food?”
“It’s called ‘Event Holding’. I--”
“So, you never d-did food for the feast thing, Mama?”
“...no, I haven’t.”
“Why?”

...and then Danielle went off to play for while, and I was left with the swirling thoughts of “Why?”
  • Because I don’t want to give folks food poisoning.
  • Because I don’t want any food waste.
  • Because I don’t want to waste money.
  • Because I don’t want to fail.
  • Because I’m scared.

That was the biggest thing, actually.  Being scared.  All the above thoughts were valid, but in general, FEAR was the top rank of ‘a reason NOT to’.  There’s an Order of the Spoon, and while at the time I knew that the current feast folk I could think of were a part of the Order in some way (a Master, a Journeyman, or an Apprentice), I also thought that if one wasn’t a part of the Order, or didn’t wish to be, that one could not pull off a feast, let alone a decent one.

Then I thought of my squire-ly task from Sir Vawn Coupant, a.k.a. David Hayden, a Knight of the Realms and of Eagle’s Rook: it was all about conflict.  Here’s a definition:

con·flict
noun: conflict; plural noun: conflicts
ˈkänˌflikt/
1.
a serious disagreement or argument, typically a protracted one.
"the eternal conflict between the sexes"
synonyms:    dispute, quarrel, squabble, disagreement, dissension, clash; More
antonyms:    agreement
a prolonged armed struggle.
"overseas conflicts"
synonyms:    war, campaign, battle, fighting, (armed) confrontation, engagement, encounter, struggle, hostilities; More
antonyms:    peace
an incompatibility between two or more opinions, principles, or interests.
"there was a conflict between his business and domestic life"
synonyms:    clash, incompatibility, incongruity, friction; More
antonyms:    harmony
PSYCHOLOGY
a condition in which a person experiences a clash of opposing wishes or needs.
verb
verb: conflict; 3rd person present: conflicts; past tense: conflicted; past participle: conflicted; gerund or present participle: conflicting
kənˈflikt,ˈkänˌflikt/
1.
be incompatible or at variance; clash.
"parents' and children's interests sometimes conflict"
synonyms:    clash, be incompatible, vary, be at odds, be in conflict, differ, diverge, disagree, contrast, collide More
having or showing confused and mutually inconsistent feelings.
adjective: conflicted

"my feelings are so conflicted that I hardly know how to answer"

IMG_1055.JPG
....well, snickerdoodles

In this particular case, I was in conflict with my fears and reasons not to do a feast.  I could hardly tell Dani-Danger, though, that I had tried and done everything in the Realms, if I hadn’t actually tried this.

I don’t even know if this is possible. I mean, I could probably get the same site from last year from my father, if I asked for a date.  But what about the country (I was now in Eagle’s Rook) and our lack of numbers?  What about the plot from last year?  What if nobody comes?  How can I afford this?  What would I have to do in the first place if I’m just doing the food?  And am I supposed to just do food if I’m the Feast-o-Crat(because I had seen plenty of times where a Feast-o-Crat had a lot more than just food to do (see example: Matthew Brenner), and times where the feast is more than enough to do (see example: Leilani Grayson))?

So, with all these questions on my mind, I decided to quell a few by asking for a listening ear from the two wisest folks I had in my life:


And after I was off the phone with them, I had the beginnings of menu ideas, dates for the site in Scotland, CT, and leads on whom to ask for help.  I was also reminded that if I was going to do this, that I should probably call said Knight Commander and talk to him about it. It was, after all, going to have the country’s name attached to the event.

Huh.  Guess I could attempt to do a feast thing, after all?  But what kind of feast?  And how much should I be involved in the whole thing, versus just the food?  What if I give control away, delegate?  What do I need to stay on top of?  What would I have to do myself, specifically?  Could we pay for this whole thing?  What else am I missing?

whereeverythinggoes.jpg
And thus, it began. Stay tuned for the next installment.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

I Can't Even



I Can't Even …
By
Sara 'Zarine' Jessop
… Invitations




Since last weeks subject got a little sidetracked, lets get back to it shall we? A while back I wrote an article all about how and why you should R.S.V.P., but I recently occurred to me that that I never explained to you all about the other side of that responsibility: invitations.

Now sending out invitations to a special event sounds like a simple take right? Wrong. There are all kinds of rules and obligations when it comes to requesting someones presence at your special day. Like most social precedent these rules vary by region and culture, but there are a few of them that are consistent throughout the Realms and I shall do my best to convey those to you here.

First off, only formal events require a written invitation. By 'written' I mean a physical piece of paper that was physically addressed by you and delivered via physical mail. Informal event invitations can take other forms such as Elf Mail, Argument Board postings, or just an in person conversation. “But Zarine, how do I know if my event is formal or informal...” Well, dear reader, perhaps in the future I will address such things, but for now maybe just not host anything until you know the difference.

An invitation should match the style of your event not just in formality but in artistic style. Think about what and who your event is celebrating and make sure your it reflects that. It will give people more of a sense of things like what to wear, what to bring, and if they even want to go. For example, if I get an invitation that's covered in teddy bears and baby rattles I am most likely going to stay home as this would indicate it's a party revolving around children.

Make sure all of the important information is present. The five W's can help you out here. Who, what, where, why, and when. This material should be presented clearly and succinctly as you only have a small space in which to convey it.

Reply cards should be included for formal events, and yes that mean a return envelope with postage. For informal events a way of reaching you via voice or elf mail communication is fine, or if it is posted on the argument board there is a handy check box. You should clarify by what date you expect a reply by and how you expect to receive it. If you need any other information from your guests, like if they are bringing a guest or their food choice, this is also the place to ask and provide a way for them to respond.

If your occasion has a dress code, make sure to spell that out clearly. You might think it's obvious and that your friends don't need you to babysit their clothing choices. Trust me Dear Reader, that road just leads to disappointment and horrified elderly family members.

After all of these things have been included, please, for the sake of intelligent people everywhere, proof read it. Have a friend proof read it. Have three friends proof read it. Make sure that at least two of them actually know how to read.

Phrasing is important. Always use the third person. Do not use abbreviations. Do not use Zone Codes as they are not needed for magical direction gathering. Write out all numbers with actual words. Do not use punctuation at the ends of lines (I know this goes against everything I have ever stood for, but it's the correct way), though commas can be used to separate information within a line.

Some find it tacky to disallow children or mention gifts within a formal invitation. However, it can be important information and should be included somehow. A simple card included in the invitation can point guests in the right direction for gifts. Who is invited should be clear in the way that you address the envelope. If it isn't, include it politely inside.

Make sure guests have enough time to reply, but not too long where they may forget about it entirely. Eight weeks before your event is a good time to send them out if your event is planned that far ahead. If not, do it as soon as possible. Give guests at least a week or two to respond as they may need to make travel plans or find people to watch their spawn while they are away. If your event is fairly last minute, do not be upset if people cannot make it.

As for who to invite, that is ultimately up to you but forgetting or subbing people can have consequences. If you invite one person often times that turns into having to invite six more people. So if you cannot invite seven people avoid the chain reaction and don't invite the first one. If you absolutely have to invite that one person, make sure that you've been consistent and fair across the board. If you've invited one Aunt and her four brats, you cannot then invite your Uncle and not invite his two demons. If you invited your cousin's significant other of the week, you can't then leave out your best friend's long term partner or vice versa. Once you set precedent you need to stick to it. 


You cannot make everyone happy when you are limited financially and spatially (it's a real word, I looked it up), but you can limit hurt feelings and angered reactions by being cognizant of other people's sympathies. Leaving out one member of a group when you've invited the rest is just plain mean. Not inviting someone who you think can't make it is rude. They won't think “oh, they knew I couldn't come”, they'll think “Oh, they didn't want me there.” If you want them there invite them regardless of distance, monetary issues, or prior engagements. Don't invite people just because others couldn't make it as all that says is “You weren't our first choice.” Do not talk about your event ad nauseam to a friend that you have no intention of inviting. Even if it gives them great writing material, they will just feel an angry disappointment that will always be between you. If you know you are going to upset someone, speak to them about it like a grown up.

I hope that this advice will help you avoid offending both your friend's and family's emotional sensibilities and their intellectual ones as well.

See you next Tuesday.

Zarine is the proprietor and Madam at Alchimia Lupanar, a magic marshal approved practitioner of medicine, an award winning author, and has 36 years of experience in giving her unsolicited opinion.