Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Support Caster Woes by Sarah Fournier

Bardic written and performed by Sarah Fournier for Queen of Hearts XXV

Phoenix walked onto the field,
While Temorse lifted his shield,
But she didn’t see the elbows
Her hand goes up to her nose,
to protect her from the blows;
It’s just another tragic tale of support caster woes

Knocked off a bridge
Piked in the face
Groping strangers in awkward places
These are the woes of a support caster

5 people call out for repairs
Your support caster mind’s in despair
Surrounded by a world of peril
Fighters don’t know the struggle
Well they’re gonna get an earful
It’s just another tragic tale of support caster woes

Knocked off a bridge
Piked in the face
Groping strangers in awkward places
These are the woes of a support caster

My armored cloak is coming apart at the seams
I swear I didn’t mean to grab your butt
You realize it takes 15 seconds to repair your armor, right?
I cant kill anything with this stupid dagger
That awkward moment when you accidentally raise the enemy
It’s just another tragic tale of support caster woes

Knocked off a bridge
Piked in the face
Groping strangers in awkward places
These are the woes of a support caster

On the front lines, hammering away at your chainmail
Avoiding missiles, arrows and pikes that impale
Throat hurts from all the shouting
Armorless fighters who won’t stop pouting
Knocked off a bridge
Piked in the face
Groping strangers in awkward places
These are the woes of a support caster
These are the woes of a support caster
These are the woes of a support caster

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Queen of Hearts XXV- Winners

War Manuvers
Grand Teamwork- Team Phoenix
Bridge Battle- Team Phoenix
Targetball- Team Phoenix
Challenge Race- Team Phoenix
Antonine Wall- Team Phoenix
Kill the Queen- Team Phoenix
Castle Battle- Team Phoenix
Field Battle- Team Phoenix
Live Chess- Team Phoenix
Team Grand Melee- Team Phoenix
Luck of the Draw- Team  Phoenix
Queen's War- Team Phoenix

Ace of Clubs- Nos (Team Salt Queen)
Ace of Diamonds- Tao (Team Salt Queen)
Ace of Hearts- Saka (Team Phoenix)
Ace of Spades- Kara (Team Arryn)
10 Field Battle- Team Phoenix
10 Bridge Battle- Team Phoenix
10 Folkestone Challenge- Team Phoenix
10 Castle Battle- Team Phoenix
One Man- Eldritch (Team Phoenix)
One Woman- Fresia (Team Phoenix)
Couples- Eldritch & Shader (Team Phoenix)
One-Path- Nebikus (Team Phoenix)
Two-Path -Avendar (Team Phoenix)
Three-Path-Hygar (Team Phoenix)
Newbie-Artair (Team Phoenix)
Knights and Squires-Rillan & Avendar (Team Phoenix)
Spirit and Steel-Rillan & Avendar (Team Phoenix)
Single Short Individual- Eldritch (Team Phoenix)
Florentine Individual- Saegan (Team Salt Queen)
Sword and Shield Individual-Torolf (Team Salt Queen)
Hand and a Half Individual- Jaha (Team Salt Queen)
Single Short Squad- Team Phoenix
Florentine Squad- Team Salt Queen
Sword and Shield Squad- Team Salt Queen
Hand and a Half Squad- Team Phoenix
RAT- Rorin (Team Phoenix)
Duncan's Challenge- Killian (Team Phoenix)

Non Boffer
Strategist- Vawn (Team Phoenix)
Loremaster- Kovaks (Team Arryn)
Performance- Nhadala & Pilpus (Team Salt Queen)
Banner and Heraldry- Rubis (Team Phoenix)
Cleaved- Amyse & Rel (Team Arryn)
Gambler- Rubarb (Team Salt Queen)
Foamsmith- Syruss (Team Arryn)
Armourer- Hygar (Team Phoenix)
Garb-Tao (Team Salt Queen)
Trapper- Rubis (Team Phoenix)
Marksman- Raynor (Team Phoenix)
Athlete- Rubarb (Team Salt Queen)
Boff Archery-Piper (Team Phoenix)
Jester- Roland (Team Phoenix)

Pageantry- Team Phoenix
Camaraderie- Team Salt Queen
Spirit- Team Arryn
Best True Supporters- Team Arryn

Queen of Hearts- Phoenix

A Realmsies Lament by Benjamin Lacasse

Winning bardic performed by Benjamin "Pilpus" Lacasse and Hannah "Nhadala" Blood at Queen of Hearts XXV

(plain text= Pilpuss, italic= Nhadala, underlined=duet)

Because lately I feel like
somethings eating my insides
And I’m free of termites, I checked...
Ive been lost in reflection
And mine’s grown so different from the rest.

There are times that I regret
That stroll And that sunset
That led me too the forests edge
One loss of direction
That’s mapped my course since then

I miss the smoothness of skin
I miss feeling anything
Because bark ain’t a mans best friend
But through my own election
I stand, and never waiver in the winds
And They say greatness occurs in different voices
And I guess I can attest That fact
But it sucks that all my “Greatest” choices
Will be the ones that they remember looking back
But If the decision was mine,
I wouldn’t alter those times
Cause I know I
Made Great

You know Pilpus, I feel ya oh my
Ive got something... someone screaming inside
It ain’t easy bein the salt queen, no
The devils in the details
Until she’s just in me

I spend nights at a time
Contemplating my crimes
And it sets my mind ablaze
But still I dawn my crown
And turn, cause I can’t let the world see.

And They say greatness occurs in different voices
And I guess I can attest That fact
But it sucks that all my “Greatest” choices
Will be the ones that they remember looking back
But If the decision was mine,
I wouldn’t alter those times
Cause I know I
Made Great

These horns are who I am
These roots are where I stand
And I know this full well

As the leaves turn to brown
And my soul is dragged down
All I’ve done will live on as well!

They say greatness occurs in different voices
And I guess I can attest That fact
But it sucks that all my “Greatest” choices
Will be the ones that they remember looking back
If the decision was mine,
I wouldn’t alter those times
Cause I know I
Made Great

I know I
I know I
Made great


Monday, August 13, 2018

Did I Read That Right?!? by Josh "Lako" Fitzgerald

So for my first one of these I will bring up what was my first endeavor into rules that are vaguely looked at, or are misunderstood, or the community has moved past.

The following is based on my reading of the Rules

“Don’t Take that”

This appears 4 times in our rules, you often hear this call when someone is joking around and hitting friends, or when you accidently hit a friend and don’t want to take that hit. However below I’ll do what I can to point out that is not allowed by the Rules.

The only times you can tell someone “Don’t Take That” are as follows:

If you hit a participant after your Arm has been Taken, If the shot was illegal in anyway, Illegally Wielding Weapons, or hitting with the side of a thrust only Weapon.
Late Shots

Sometimes you will strike another participant immediately after receiving a hit that injures or kills your PC. For example, just before your sword makes contact with an opponent, your attacking arm is struck by another weapon. Even though you are incapable of physically halting your attack, the injury your PC received renders the hit ineffective. There is no "follow through" effect that allows your attack to be successful. This is called a late shot. If you deliver a late shot, it is your responsibility to inform your opponent to not take the blow. Common phrasing includes "Don't take that!" or "Late, on your arm!" Like other shots, you may not declare that someone else hit you late. If you think someone is failing to call their late shots, question them after combat ends, or bring your concern to a marshal.

Illegal Hits

Sometimes you may hit someone with a part of your weapon that doesn't actually damage their PC, such as the pipe of a weapon, the side of a thrust-only weapon (see Section 3.7: Weapon Rules), or the shaft, fletching or nock of an arrow or javelin. If you do this, be sure to call "Don't take that!" to alert them that it wasn't a legal hit, and that they may resume play as if the hit never occurred. A player may also call "shaft" if they received an illegal hit from an arrow or javelin, or call "slash" if they received an illegal hit from a thrust-only weapon.

Wielding Weapons

For the purposes of the rules, you are wielding a weapon or shield if you are holding it in your hand(s) and you attack, parry, or block with it. You are wielding a combination of weapons and/or a shield if you attack, parry, or block with either of them. Simply holding a weapon, or menacing with it, does not count as wielding unless contact is made. You cannot wield more than one item in a hand at once.

If you are wielding an illegal weapon or combination and you attack, then you should tell the target "Don't take that." If something you are not wielding blocks a shot, then you should treat the blow as if it had landed. If you are not sure where that blow would have landed, then assume it would hit the location that would cause you the most harm (e.g., an unarmored kill location). There are special restrictions for spellcasters in terms of wielding and blocking with different weapons, and specific consequences for doing so outside of the spellcaster’s restriction. See Breaking Weapon Restrictions for more information.

The size of a weapon dictates how it may be wielded. Weapons cannot be any smaller than 12", and cannot exceed 8' in length.

Thrust-Only Weapons

Thrust-only weapons cannot strike an opponent with a "slashing" or side-to-side motion. If you slash at an opponent with a thrust-only weapon, you must tell them "Don't take that." As long as the tip of the weapon strikes with a forward motion the blow must be taken. If you are not certain that a thrust-only strike landed properly, you must assume it was a slash and tell your opponent not to take the shot.

Arc Sphere Distortions Continued...

By the View Staff based on Steven Matulewicz series

Friday, August 10, 2018

The Legacy of Queen of Hearts

The Legacy of Queen of Hearts

by David Hayden
I’m going to preach for a little bit, and then ask for a favor, but it’s really a favor for you, so you should really thank me and then help if you can.
So I don't know about the rest of you, but one of the things I love about the Realms is the rich history we have of Moments - those amazing occasions where the convergence of the right people and situation provide us with something truly epic to witness and experience. If you think about all of the "Realms stories" that get told, they're mostly about Moments. I bet most of you just thought of a few. As an event, Queen of Hearts has those moments in spades. (Which is why you should go this weekend and not be deterred by a little rain, it's not like it's a hurricane. Again.)
Anyway, part of remembering those Moments is remembering history. QoH is 25 this year - that’s a massive amount of history, and a ton of Moments. But one thing that's missing from the Queen of Hearts site that we used to have is a chunk of that history, which was the list of winners for each tourney. What's the big deal, you ask, people win tourneys all the time? Fair point, that's true. But if you like those stories of moments, then it's really helpful to have a starting place to get to them.
Someone could look at the list and be like "Wait, Panther won Champion in 2001 and then again in 2017, 16 years later? That's crazy, how did that happen?" And then you could ask someone about it and maybe get a story about a Moment (2001 definitely was one, ask me, or better yet, Panther, some time.)
Or someone might ask about some amazing bardics over the years and I'd point to that list and tell them
about the first time Janna sang on the "big stage" in the Realms in 2004 with Dahal and gave me actual chills, or Brighthammer and Dahal actually delivering The Greatest Song in the World in 2006, or the first time I heard Kiira sing - the Grimloch lullaby in 2009, or Folkestone Puppet Theater. Now it's not like I'll ever forget those Moments, those are seared into my brain. But having them written down provides a solid point of reference for our shared history.

Now the reason the list is not there anymore is that we, as a community, are not always great about taking note of those Moments, and Jason understandably didn’t want a list with a bunch of empty spaces up there. The QoH staff puts a ridiculous amount of time and effort into preparing for the event, and if there were years in the past when a tourney list got misplaced at the end of an incredibly grueling weekend, only a heartless cretin would blame them for a name getting lost in the shuffle. I’ve been trying to fill in those gaps over the last decade or so, and I’m confident if we could get most of them filled out and I coded the list for him, that’d he’d add it back on.

So, that favor I’m asking of you – if you went to a QoH between 2006 and 2016, take a look at this spreadsheet(, and help me fill in the blanks. If you won a tourney previously, let me know which one (you can comment directly on the sheet or drop me an email/PM). If you ran or fought on a team and think you know who might have been your team’s entrant for a tourney, drop me a line.

And here’s hoping I’ll see you on the field this weekend, and we’ll get to witness a few more Moments together.

What You Missed- Creathorne Capture the Flag (part 2)

By Patrick Morgan

Thursday, August 9, 2018

What You Missed- Creathorne Capture the Flag

By Patrick (Quill) Morgan


Quill speak little common. Please forgive. I do best.
Quill lose home to fire, go search new home. Find many in strange place. Talk of prize, Quill joined with hope of help.
Find many friends, Quill is thank you.

Quill join friend in search for flag. Find flag get prize and Quill want prize.
While Quill find friend, I also find trust hard to give. No trust team. I watch as team kill innocent life of friend Kara who teach Quill spell to heal. Is no good. Bad. I no trust.

I watch flag go back to start many time. Always try best to catch flag but no luck. I hear rumor of trolls. Thought Trolls try hunt Quill at one point! Is bad!
At one point Quill see dragon! DRAGON! Never see dragon before and dragon was king, share cold crunch thing. Is good!

We go out again, find friend Kara. We trust and help! Later we sit on bridge, we wait for flag, attack when flag close. We talk with Sir Bones and Tempest. Tempest is good is friend.
I upset Sir Bones.. No mean to. Is sorry. Quill hear many thing all wrong. Little Common, get messy.
Sir Bones sneaky. Rios hiding under bridge with flag! Make fool of Quill!
Quill no let happen again!

Quill wait with new friend Ash, Kara and Ronnie. We set bad aside, work together. Friend.
We see Rios with flag we work together and kill dead!
Ash get kill, Team Tor won, he deserve flag but give to Quill. Quill is happy to have revenge for made fool. Work good together. Is good.

Cupcake thing good too, orange yum. And corn pop.Is good. Cronon do good, yis?
Quill is excite for next time. Maybe Quill join quest when learn more spell.
Flag catch game is good for new to Realms like me.
I hope understanding Quill. I enjoy game. Is good. Thank.


As a newbie it always helps to get to events a little early so you can meet the event holders and introduce yourself, get known and get to know others and such, but I was requested there early by Sir Tao (James F Murphy) who had generously stepped forward to teach me how to become a caster and help me set up my spellbook.

First on the scene of course was Cronon (Kevin Legace) and since I was early I volunteered to help out, best way to get to know the EH and get my name out there and besides, it’s just the good thing to do.

Cronon was well prepared for the event too, plenty of water for all players, sweet tea, orange creamsicle cupcakes and handmade popcorn all laid out on the tables beside the registry for everyone to dig into.

Soon enough adventurers from across the Realms showed up to take part in the event and compete for the prize. Gathering into teams of three adventurers were quick to chatter and catch up with one another and capture odd little creatures within their fairy boxes (Some folks claimed it was a great Pokemon Event!)

Once everyone was set Sir Tao announced a small mini game section of his Clontarf Casino having players draw from a deck of cards to hold various “Chaos” Games, giving no details on the game itself and offering players a gamble on the outcome with glassware prizes to be won. Games such as diving players in half to fight each other, as well as teams of two and three to fight, a scalping race impressively won by Sir Bones, various card games of who had the lowest heart, even a race for the young adventurers which was taken by Zane  Each game taking place between rounds of the main event.

With the blast of a trombone that could be heard throughout the event area, team Featherfoot were first to cross the bridge and go on the hunt to the flag, but were shortly the first to return dead at the hands of team Qquillian who bore them no mercy.

Rumor quickly spread of an unknown participant. Though a few new faces were around, this one in particular was gaining a reputation quickly. Rumors talked of trolls, others talked of triplets that needed to be killed all at once, others spoke of twins, but no real answer came back to me. Not until much later…

Team Tor and Team Qquillian competed and fought well for the first few rounds of Creathorne’s Capture The Flag. Many competitors could be spotted strewn across the woods, my team and I bumped into a few along our way. Many players being ruthless in their search. Team Tor currently held the lead.

With another round of Chaos games to pass the time it took to hide the flag, the next round soon began and here’s where things get interesting.

My team had unfortunately lagged behind a member and as we waited for them to catch us up we spotted the rumored challenger alongside Sir Bones…. But they spotted us too.

With quick thinking and knowing we stood little chance we took to the woods to lay low, venturing around to hide, cowardly perhaps but wise in that we managed to get away and survive to play a little longer, at the unfortunate expense of our third team member.
Narrowly avoiding being hunted we’d gotten lost and proceeded to wander aimlessly until we heard a strange call.

One of which held a soft and soothing feeling to it, a luring call, beckoning those who would be feeling the days humidity affecting them. Those closest to the starting zone would be powerless to resist the call, however the siren like song was not one of ill will. Many adventurers were grateful and joyous of the creature that visited us. A bright white dragon came to share its hoard of ice treats with those nearby in exchange for little gold. Fondly named “Swirly the icecream dragon” many adventurers who returned too late were envious of those who had gotten to share in the hoard. I personal can vouch that a watermelon popsicle was perfect to battle the heat, and give my gratitude to Vandoria who generously offered gold to get one.

Around now many participants had begun to leave and return to their nations, leaving many teams broken and many participants left to wander in search of trustworthy companions.
Tired, hot and a little more wiser my team and I chose not to venture into the woods again and be lost once more. We sat on the edge of the bridge beside Sir Bones and Tempest and aegerly awaited someone to return with the flag.

A mistake.

After too much prodding and poking Sir Bones gave up and swiftly took my team down and slipped under the very bridge we were upon, returning with the flag that had been right beneath us protected by the unknown challenger the entire time…. Team Rios took a point upon the score board.

Tired. Humiliated. Sore and with more death counts that I had gold I set out for the final round that consisted of 5 participants. As Kara and I crossed the bridge we found another participant appearing to be dead. With kind heart I made to pull out my spell book to raise them, only to be knocked unconscious instead by the very one I aimed to resurrect. I learnt about feign death in that moment.
After a while I soon woke to hear of their plan, they and Kara both feigned death while I sat still...waiting.

Soon enough Ronnie of Thorn Valley ventured towards us.
“Do you appear to be dead?” She called out
It very much seemed like this little newbie had gone and collected a couple trophies but as Ronnie came closer we revealed the truth. It was us… versus Rios. One man. The final round.
Sure enough he came along with the flag tucked into his belt ready to fight past us.

Setting our differences aside we teamed up as a four and worked together to take off his arms. With only the chance to make a run for it, we cornered him, and the final blow was struck just in time. The remaining member of Team Tor. I myself brought the flag back home and earned a rather satisfying point on the scoreboard that made the days efforts worth while. One that could not have been won without teamwork.

The final scores were thus
Team Tor 4
Team Qquillian 1
Team Rios 1
Team Featherfoot 1

Needless to say the prize went to the remaining member of Team Tor.
Ash (Nathan Roby)

The flag itself being the prize of the days event.

All in all an interesting and most certainly fun experience with generous Event Holders and friends to adventure into the woods with.

Thank you Cronon (Kevin) for the great day!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

WIWTG to Queen of Hearts 2018, By Keith

Last year I had the opportunity to go to Queen of Hearts as the staff made the enormous shift in their mission statement from “the Olympics of the realms” to “let’s have fun.” For some of us wartorn fighter types, it was a concern, because we like to get beat up. 

No really; we crash into each other at a high pace, trying to edge each other out in incredible feats of combat that require years of training, and a level of precision that we wouldn’t expect out of surgeons. Actually that might be a gross over statement, we aren’t surgeons out there. But it gets my point across. 

The shift to let’s have fun gave concern, because I, and the other competitive assholes out there, were worried that we wouldn’t be able to access that feeling of immersion we achieve from competitive combat. We were wrong. 

I went back to review my WYM from last year, and I don’t mind being the guy that quotes himself, but I was right then, if you missed it last year, you missed an event. Not in the classic usage of the gathering of our favorite hobby, but a change in the game. 

If you have the option of going to Queen of Hearts this year, and you have any interest in playing our game, you should really make the effort. The Queen of Hearts team made a huge jump last year, trying to make the event inclusive to all skill sets. Queen of Hearts has always been the sort of competition that showcases every aspect of this beautiful game we play, in that it features every facet of our game, from crafting to casting, to combat. But I think the shift in theme set it a stride further, in that it now encompasses every attitude that might enjoy the game as well. 

I can’t express that point enough. This event will truly offer something for everyone, and the aim is just to have fun. If you want to have fun in our game, go to this event. 

I can be hard for me to express why I want to go to Queen of Hearts because there are too many reasons, often times when I write these things, I can latch onto a singular facet as to why I want to go. But for Queen of Hearts it’s different. I want to go for the fighting of course, the war tournaments, the singles tournaments. I mean they’re pretty great, teams put a lot of effort in putting their best foot forward. But there is more than that, I want to go for the craft tournaments too, it’s one event of the year where we artisans really throw out all the stops, and if you take the time to look, you can learn some new techniques, steal some ideas, or just appreciate the effort in general. There is so much to do, so much to focus on, and so many people there to play. 

You might not know why you want to go. You might even have convinced yourself you don’t want to go, and you know it’s understandable if you have other plans, we all have to manage our time. But I think you should trust me, and if you’re free, give yourself the opportunity to have a good time. 

I’ll see you on the field, 

Keith “Saegan” Cronyn

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Memories of....

Queen of Hearts

QoH memories - I don't remember what year it was, or who he was fighting, to be honest, but I remember the year Rel won one of his Queen's War matches with a dagger and MMs by throwing the MM up in the air as a distraction and then shanking his opponent hardcore,

I also vividly remember Panther subbing in at the last minute as Champion for Team Tarnisha in 2001, having had no notice or time to prepare, and winning the tournament.

Dave Hayden/Sir Vawn        

One of my favorite memories in the Realms happened at Queen of Hearts. When I was little, before I played as Evitta, I was Skye. I ran around with a bow and arrow and had 2 spells, Protect Item and Heal Limb. My dad and I used to go to Queen of Hearts every year, and I was always super excited for the castle battle. When our team was on offense, I’d shoot a couple of arrows, run around and heal people, then gather arrows and shoot again. This was fun, but my favorite part was being on defense. I’d get boosted into one of the towers and snipe people down with my bow. I felt super cool as a young player in the realms because I was really able to get involved in the fighting. Plus I was pretty dang good with that bow.
Sarah Fournier/Evitta

I remember being impressed by a former player Tiffany Bazinet/Luna. I believe a Queen of Hearts many many years ago was actually her first event. Way back then learning spells took a lot of work and many first event newbies would have considered themselves useless and hung out in the back.  Tiffany dove in dragging bodies to healers (oh yeah getting raised on the front line was way less common back then too). The other thing she did was fetch arrows, including on the bridge crawling between her teams legs to reach them. She was the target of many an archer but I don't recall seeing her go down a single time. She embodied doing as much as she could with what she had for resources. 

Angie Gray/Phoenix

Queen of Hearts 2 was my very first Realms event. I had talked with my friend Fred for a year about the Realms, and one afternoon he called and said, "There is an event this weekend. We have room in the car. You should come." So there I was, suddenly thrust into the medieval fantasy tournament of my dreams using the rule set I had meticulously studied for a year and set in a world my friends had told be about every week at our Boy Scout meetings. Makhta was running the Newbie tournament that year, and we were quizzed on our rules and history knowledge as well as our ability to fight safely. Imagine my joy when I won the tournament that year and left with a new T-tunic, bracers, and a huge stack of copies of the View from Valehaven. Back then Queen of Hearts had literally every aspect of the Realms in one event - it was a tournament with a feast for dinner and a night quest.

I have many amazing memories from Queen of Hearts - teams I loved so dearly and battles we fought so hard - but that first event was positively magical. At this point I have been active in the Realms for over half my life, and I owe all the joy that has brought me to that one intoxicatingly fun weekend.
Matt Brenner/ King Sir Cecil 

I will always remember being nailed in a coffin for Grimloch's monster entrance and being carried up the back stairs to the main building thinking I was going to die.

Or when me and Jaha teased that giant boulder swinging troll on one of the old QoH night quests.

But my favorite was when Team Grimloch dumped water on me during my winning Queen speech thanking everyone for their hard work.
Cal Marsden/Syruss

My favorite queen of hearts memory was fighting with my friends on the snake cult team, and especially doing my puppet show with Masha because she doesn't play much anymore and I really miss her. Even though we were the smallest team and didn't win much I think we embodied the have fun with your friends spirit very well ! I was so proud of us
Nataliya Kostenko/Shadar 

Some additional random memories-
Young Nos ripping the heart out of a teddy bear for the mages tourney, Grimloch's Kiss tribute band, the hurricane,  the drow from Nifleheim,  mugwumps (if you ask Queen Meg they don't exist, Disco Dirk, Team Teng Hua, Mahkta as her team's champion, Elder Wisdom, Blade's War, Fokestone Shadow Puppet Theater (Beep! Bop! Boop!)

Queen of Hearts XX from Stephen Johnson on Vimeo.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Arc Sphere Distortions Continued....

After a year and a half of providing the View with Arc Sphere Distortions the originator of them, Steven Matulewicz, is taking a well deserved break but is generously allowing others on the View staff to continue the series.

Thanks Steve for the many laughs and for passing the torch.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Ask the Editors - Quest Involvement

I've been on a few quests now but mostly I find myself standing near the back and just watching people around me solve things. Occasionally I'll beat a monster and get something that looks important but someone else will ask for it, and then I don't know what happened with it. How can I better get involved in these quests so I feel like I'm not just a tag-a-long?


Becky Baron, aka Kovaks, teaches a great class on essentially how to be useful during a quest.  I highly recommend talking to her about your specific concerns.  The main thing for me is remembering that our LARP really is about active participation.  If you feel you are standing around a lot, the first question you should be asking yourself is “What is there to do/ how can I help?”  Depending on your skills, you could be dragging bodies, getting food and water for people, working to support a fighter or a caster.  But the best way to get more engaged with the plot/ quest, is to go to someone you see as leading the quest IC and let them know you want to be involved more.  OOC, let the EH know before the quest that you really want to be involved.  Letting people know what you want, in combination to finding gaps and filling them, are some of the best ways to be engaged in every step of the process.

-Steven “Therian” Matulewicz


Thanks for asking such an important question. Going to events and adventuring out on a quest is supposed to be fun, and not knowing what is going on can really put a damper on things. Here are some things you can try that will help you get your bearings and make you feel like a more active participant in the plot.

Gather information. Start by reading the event description before you head to the event. Some plot throwers even chronicle the history of their plot so you can get quite a bit of backstory before you even show up. When you get there, ask questions. Talk to those people who seem to know what is going on and ask them to give you the run-down so that you know what the goal of the quest is and some pertinent information you need to be helpful. Throughout the quest, don’t hesitate to ask questions, you can learn a lot just by asking and then, and this is key, listening to the full answer.

Find your niche. For years, I felt lost on quests. I was a middle of the pack fighter, not really engaging in the battle and not really interacting with the other aspects of the quest. I honestly thought questing just wasn’t my thing until I became a 3-path. For me, making that change improved my experience dramatically because I was able to both actively become a part of the combat encounters as a support healer, and engage with the various puzzles and thinky parts of the quest too. This is not me advocating for you to change your character build, but it is a push to figure out what part of quests you like most and participate in those specifically. Even when you are wearing a suit of armor, there is no law against you asking what everyone is huddled around and making it your business to help. (Side note, carrying a pencil and some paper is a great way to keep track of important details and is often super helpful for puzzle solving if that’s your thing).

Play nice with others. It can be tempting when you finally get that awesome drop off a crunchie that you painstakingly killed to want to keep it all to yourself--after all, it was yours. However, if you want to be more involved with questing in general, and you don’t know what the thing is for in the first place, your best bet is to share, while communicating your desire to be more involved at the same time. If you find a neat widget, and someone wants it, ask what is is used for, and if there is something you can do to help push the quest forward. Try saying, “I found this thing! I’d love to know what it’s being used for and help you do X.” Holding up the quest because you want to hang on to a critical component isn’t going to help you get more involved, and it’s not going to endear you to the rest of the party.

-Lani “Gwen” Jones


So getting involved in Quests can be challenging for a lot of people. Part of it is on the Event Team, recognizing the engagement level of their players and helping them to get involved.

But there is a lot of it that just falls on the player. Being able to stand up for themselves and say that they want to be involved.

Advocating for yourself is a real world skill, that everyone needs to be able to do, but it absolutely applies to people when they’re questing. Even if it’s just saying “Hey, I’ve been fighting the bad guys with you the whole time, I need to know why, or what we’re doing?”

A lot of times you’ll hand something off to the player in the know and they’ll go get the job done, and just move on to the next job. So simply asking that person “hey, what happened with the thing?” is fine, they’ll usually let you know, and may even tell you what the next objective is.

Passing out information on a quest can be hard. Event Teams do the best they can, but when everyone it wandering around in the woods, sometimes you just need to ask and make sure you’re on the right page.

Outside of advocating for yourself, advertising for your role within the questing party can be good too. A person’s role within the party isn’t always apparent, especially with spell casting, and even more so with weird plot powers that sometimes arise. A person’s role can be challenging to play, if you’re trying to get involved in questing, I’d recommend a role that encourages team building--that helps the team, or other people in general. Everyone needs a healer now and then. Are you the guy with long weapons that likes a line? Or are you the loner off in the woods by yourself away from the quest entirely?

I know sometimes fighters have a hard time getting involved in questing because they tend to be too busy fighting the monsters that come along. If you’re getting left out on the details, you can take a step back from fighting. And if they try to tell you that you’re needed on the front line, that’s a perfect time to advocate for yourself and say that you need to know what the group is doing and why, first.

Advocate for yourself, know your role and play the part, be active; that’s my main advice.

As an aside, another easy way to get involved in questing, or plot in general, is to make choices that you know are probably dumb. Experience makes for smart choices, we’ve all read the stories, seen the movies, and heard the myths. We know taking the candy from the demon will end poorly for our character. But poor choices create conflict, create story, and they will get you involved very quickly.

That being said, you should probably have a hard line too. For example, don’t jump into the inky blackness, that event holder warned you was three tick doom. The only story that will guarantee to create is a new character. A quick review for the kids in the back; demon candy is okay, but Bedlam isn’t a kiddie pool.

-Keith “Saegan” Cronyn


Start with what you're good at or what you like the best! Are you a fighter? There's usually always plenty of room at the front or sides of the questing party where you can help beat back the hordes of bad guys. The same goes for casters with offensive magic. One of the quickest ways to feel more involved is to feel like you are actually helping and contributing to the party's progress. So make a decision to get out of the back of the party and into the action. Just grab your weapons or props and get busy! Are you a caster? There are still plenty of things you can do to help the party and at the same time provide you with a more involved and interactive experience - whether it be healing, blacksmithing, providing potions, shielding with wards or CoPs, or casting divinatory magic, everything has it's place to shine at some point during quests.

There's also no need to watch people solve things. I know it is easier said than done, but a good way to get involved in solving the puzzles or other mechanics is just to put yourself out there and jump in when there's something like that going on. See a lot of people huddled around something? Don't be afraid to ask questions! Offer your help. Try to gather as much information as you can - many players carry notebooks with them while questing to write down important tidbits and information to reference later. Or if you have a friend or acquaintance on the quest who always seems to be in the middle of the action, see if you can stick with them to help draw you into things.

It's always a good idea to share drops from NPCs with the rest of the party, especially if it looks important. But that doesn't mean that you have to give it up entirely! Make sure you know who you give it to, if you do, and make sure that you continue to ask questions throughout the quest about the item and it's purpose. Remember, EHs provide the content, but it is usually up to the player to determine how much they actively want to participate in that content. You don't have to be relegated to the back of the party forever, but it might take a bit of effort or stepping out of your comfort zone in order to engage in what's going on around you.

-Jen "Areni" DeNardis-Rosa

Thursday, August 2, 2018

The View Retrospective- Story Shards and How to Use Them by Ryan "Orion" Welch

Story Shards and How to Use Them by Ryan "Orion" Welch

From the website for Clan Rua Thar Cinn’s Event Series:
“In Rua Thar Cinn, we believe that the Realms is a living, breathing world that extends beyond the OOC end-times of events. We also recognize that real people have only limited time in their lives to play as fantasy alter-egos. To reconcile these ideas, our plot implements a system of actions, called Story Shards, in between events which allow for any level of participation, including none at all, without requiring a player to choose between engagement in the plot and their real life.”

By now, you’ve probably heard the phrase “Story Shard” thrown around quite a bit. There’s an even better chance that you’ve heard that phrase as part of a statement that goes something like: “How the heck do I use a Story Shard?” Well, the View From Valehaven is here to answer your most frequently asked questions!

How do I get Story Shards?

Story Shards are not items that you collect. Any individual is eligible to submit up to one Story Shard between Rua Thar Cinn (RTC) events. You may submit a Story Shard even if you did not attend their last event as a PC.

How do I submit a Story Shard?

RTC plot staff has a nifty website with an easy-to-use form for submitting Story Shards: You can also email RTC will stop accepting submissions two weeks prior to their next event so that they they have enough time to address all of the Story Shards.

What can I do with my Story Shard?

You can use your Story Shard to interact with RTC’s plot in any number of ways, including (but not limited to) talking to NPCs, casting divination magic, conducting research, or experimenting with magic or magic items. Basically, you can use a Story Shard to perform actions that would be available to your PC between events (so long as those actions are relevant to this particular plot). After you submit your Story Shard, the RTC staff will review your actions and come up with the results of your actions. In rare cases, a role-playing encounter might occur, but you are much more likely to get a packet of information shortly before or at the next RTC event.

If I don’t submit a Story Shard, will I fall behind in the plot?

Absolutely not! RTC recognizes that we all have real-life responsibilities, so while Story Shards can be used to interact with the plot, they are entirely optional. The effects of a Story Shard is usually limited to the PC who submitted it.  Sometimes the outcome might also ripple through parts of the plot, but Story Shards will never result in a huge change in the plot between events. RTC does a very good job of maintaining continuity between their quests, so the only thing you need to do to stay involved with the plot is hit their events.

Are Story Shards the same thing as e-questing?

Not really. Most of the time, the results of your submission will be given to you at the next RTC event, although in some infrequent cases, Story Shards might be resolved with an IC encounter (online or even in person, depending on the wishes of the player submitting the Story Shard and the availability of staff to accommodate requests).

What’s all this talk about Story Shards and Trappings of Civilization?

“Trappings of Civilization” are in-game mechanics utilized by RTC that is independent from Story Shards. Trappings are minor abilities that represent PC specializations  that they may develop as a result of living in civilized society(ie near a city instead of deep in a forest). You choose a trapping for your PC when you check in at an event (you don’t have to choose the same trapping as you did last time, and some characters may qualify for two). Some trappings are available to everybody, others are limited to members of specific organizations and knighthoods. However, if your PC submitted a Story Shard after the most recent RTC event, you are required to take the “Career Adventurer” trapping. This does not convey any bonus because your PC has been busy being, well, a career adventurer.

How many times does the phrase “Story Shard” appear in this article?

Including the title, 26.

Originally published on 4/21/2016

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

What You Missed- Chimeron Questing by Justin "Artair" Mitchell and Adrian Cronin the Barbarian

Friday by Justin "Artair" Mitchell

I am still recovering from the events that occurred during the Full Buck Moon, many of which I cannot go into great detail about here. What I can say is, for the few cycles I was a guest in Chimeron’s lands, more occurred than I alone can give account for.

On a personal note there were a few events that will stay with me forever, I became blessed by Artemis during the buck moon and the height of her power, and with her blessing and our sacrifices we were able to cleanse a great amount of corruption from the realms. While what we accomplished was great, I feel this is only the beginning of what we must accomplish and it came at a great cost, as Artemis sacrificed her divinity, trading a child of a god for a child of a god... but enough of that doom and gloom instead I will regale you with the happier tales of the night of the full buck moon.

After a very long journey from Voraniss into the lands of Chimeron we set up our meager camp before heading to the tavern to see why we had been summoned. On the way to the tavern we found battles already underway so we quickened our step to make our presence known and see where we could be of the most help.

At the Tavern we found a fae couple pleading with adventurers to save their child. The child like many others in recent days had been kidnapped by the Red Tide and they feared for its safety. We were told that some of the children taken would eventually reappear stripped of their fae, while many more never heard from again. So the assembled adventurers set off in search of the kidnappers with little to go on.

Thankfully the most recent abduction was a very clever child. We began to find strands of yellow yarn, likely from the head of the child's favorite doll. As the night progressed we met some resistance and in our battle lust we lost sight of the trail for quite some time. Pieces of yarn are not the easiest to find in the forests of fae at dusk you see. Luckily our eyes were not the only source of direction we had at our disposal. With the aid of seer magics we found our way back to the trail and we continued to chase them into the night. Eventually we found the camp and were able to recover the child as the Red Tide swore to enforce purity of the fae. With the child returned unharmed and the parents overcome with joy we suggested they take the child and leave for safer lands far from the Red Tide and their influence.

Upon returning to the tavern we found yet another issue to address there was a dream gone wrong we were brought into the dreaming in the middle of a battle between a group of Kobolds and “the heroes of the realms”. The continual waves of heroes who would say nothing except “the kobolds need to die because that's what good heroes do!” It became quickly apparent the only way to fix this dreaming was to save the Kobolds. So we worked together to thwart the heroes and confuse them as others worked to move boulders to block the passage the heroes were coming from.

In yet another dream we helped restore confidence to a troll who will hopefully one day become a member of the Chimeron militia. Such an open mind in the hands of the adventurers of the realms is a ridiculous sight to behold. Some people had other amusing ideas but the party as a whole shut down the ideas of teaching the troll to demand “pay toll to troll” or to become a spellcaster.  I was very happy with the results in the end, as he was taught the confidence to kill the kobolds and that it is even better to avoid combat with intimidation where possible.

The last event was my favorite of the night, we were called to investigate some floating colored lights that had been disturbing a village. These lights were hostile and we had to fight them back as they knocked out and then gave night terrors to us, and on occasion landing a killing blow.  As we fought them back they dropped smaller motes of light. We discovered that we would need to create solid orbs of light out of the pieces and strike them down while in control of the similar colored light orb to defeat them. There was a great amount of teamwork among all the adventurers and it was quite enjoyable to have saved that village in such a cooperative manner.

This is all I am able to impart to you for now as I need to focus on my recovery and have not had sufficient time to finish organizing my notes from such an eventful trip.

Saturday by Adrian Cronin the Barbarian


I arrived in the lands of Chimeron a day later than the rest of Voraniss. Weary of the full moon I knew better than to bring the non lycans of The Broken Spears to travel and keep up with our werewolf companions under these circumstances. And so we arrived in the morning, and joined up with them to see what adventures we could discover in these strange lands.

We began getting our armor and weapons together in our camp and saw adventurers battling strange unidentified creatures across the field. Knowing my nocturnal brethren to be slow to rise, especially during this lunar stage, I quickly ran across the field to join in the skirmish with a fine assortment of adventurers who had also answered the call to these lands. We quickly vanquished our foes and were able to take refuge from would become the greatest enemy of the day….

The sun!

Within the shade we were joined by the rest of our pack and Hygar began some investigation and discussion with his fellow Templar Avendar. During this time many of the adventurers went in different directions to discover what else may be occurring in the forests of the land. Once my contingent of Broken Spears, plus Tulkan and Varmagn, was rested from the heat, we left Kindrianna and Hygar in the capable hands of Mogar and the rest of Voraniss for we heard rumor that there was magic that could be purchased to protect your body from harm without the need of armor. We purchased this “Troll Skin” and it’s cheaper variant for many of our warriors to keep ourselves unburdened in the heat.

While at the tavern we were approached by an apothecary who needed flowers for some potion and offered us a gold reward for escorting her. Simple enough. Easy money right? Wrong.

The flowers were guarded by an angry troll who was battling four werewolves. Hailing from Voraniss, I attempted diplomacy with the wolves. One of them muttered something along the lines of “put you with the thing in the ground” with drool dripping from his canine maw. We took that as a no and began fighting a battle on three fronts. For the battle royal began: Trolls vs Wolves vs Broken Spears vs Heat!!

We managed to somehow steal away a small bundle of flowers but were told that it was not enough. So we battled on, having my armor and weapon decimated by the trolls Boulder, once my body was healed I had the blade reforged at my camp while my Captain Helkias organized a tactical retreat. Upon my return, both Swoop of Gau Dring and Rubis Of Folkestone had joined my men in the battle. Once confirming the mission, Rubis made a mad dash to the flowers and quickly grabbed them. This resulted in the Spears completing their quest and after forty minutes of heat exhausting battle received…. seven gold. Which I then immediately spent on troll skin for myself and took off my sweat covered chain mail. Thanks guys! Later we saw the flowers on the back of a Fae in the council… we can only assumed we were tricked as well as duped.

After this we reunited with our nation who had created a shrine to Artemis which granted its three followers armor piercing missiles, the ability to repair armor at the altar as well as a connection the goddess herself.

Once reunited we ended up battling a large amount of nightmares that had invaded through a portal. Their leader was weak to magic and hated my sword Azure Wrath as it seemed to be the only thing that could hurt her. She fell, along with the rest of her minions.

After this battle we watched a council of Fae discuss what would become of the iron road. Many ideas were bounced around. Some of them good. Some of them bad. Some of them Baptiste. Ultimately the decision was made to wait until the following day and vote.

At this time the pack took some much needed respite. I took my sweat covered shirt off and  then my nation decided to take the “troll skin” idea to the next level. We painted ourselves in woad and wore as little clothing as we could get away with.

We then patrolled looking for something to kill. After fighting what appeared to be a vampire werewolf, to no real success we found ourselves sitting and embracing the cool breeze that night provided, though subtle it was. It was at this time that I joined some brave adventurers in the dreaming, which would be first time there. And of course, I transformed into a lovely women named Ann who wanted nothing more than to enjoy a quiet evening at a dinner party with some friends. Of Course instead she uncovers a plot to kill a poor defenseless girl.

Once the dream ended we awoke feeling quite weird but no less concerned for the girls safety. Tulkan was pulled away then quickly returned to me for aid in removing something dark from Hygar. I take one nap…

So we cleaned Hygar which meant a ritual to Artemis followed by me killing him then some one else scalping him. Kindrianna was down and quickly raised. I called out to her if I should stop it, but she said nothing. Once it was done he was returned to us and purified of the dark parasite which had attached himself. The same was attempted on a piece of bone that belonged to an entity I believe was called “Wrake”? This resulted in the followers of Artemis being decimated and Artemis herself being called fourth. She made herself mortal to pay the price for the bones destruction and return her servants to life. She was then offered a place in Voraniss.

Tulkan very much agitated by the moon and even more so by the price his goddess had to pay, he was all too eager to hunt. And when our Fae guide returned to us with Lord Barengars location, whom we suspected was responsible for plotting the death of his niece, we were all too eager to confront the man.

Evie and Kara entered the modest home alone while I engaged in a stare down with his guard. When the guard heard the Lord shout he turned his head and I promptly knocked him unconscious. Tulkan, hybrid wolf form at this point, stood over the guard growling and drooling. The lord was very angry at this turn of events. At this point the Lord began spouting his accusations towards his nieces legitimacy as opposed to changing his tone to concern. With this information I threatened him openly and warned him if any harm should befall that girl that I would return with the full might of the pack. On the way back Evie told me the password to get into some party, at first I had little interest until I saw Thoril drinking and waving from the balcony. Upon entering the party which had been going on for some time I asked Tao what was going on. He told me that it was a seedy establishment and not to drink the punch. Moments later a man was dead and many of the patrons of the establishment were running into the back room.

It was at this point I gathered all the Voranians I could and we fled from the establishment, when we looked back it was on fire.

Upon returning to the tavern, we found the king to have been woken. And Syruss and Priest Z were on trial for what went down at the “Speak Easy”. After an entertaining trial it was decided that the tavern would be rebuilt by the accused and whoever was willing to assist. In addition Priest Z and Syruss would serve as deputies to the Sherriff of Chimeron and Work to uphold their laws. Evie, Kara and myself decided to aid them in rebuilding the tavern. After much hard work both magical, physical and mathematical we returned to finally get some rest.

I was the first to awaken of my nation the next day as usual and decided to keep to my tradition of “walking off the pain”. I was pleased to be joined by other early risers who I feasted with while recounting tales of glory in true Barbarian fashion.

Once we had eaten, I was approached by Orion. He told me that the main encampment of the Risen Kingdom Bandits had been found and that we needed to strike fast. As a veteran of the battle for the iron road, I felt a kinship with Orion in seeing this evil put down. And so I went to gather the pack.

Many of them were still weak after the full moon change. So I gathered who could follow me swiftly and asked that the rest join as soon as they could. With half of our force we joined with the many adventurers and fought hard into the bandit camp. And though it wasn’t easy, with a ballista and a score of angry adventurers from various nations, we stole victory from the Risen Kingdoms grasp.

Returning from the battle, weary and tired I overheard King Cecil in the tavern remarking about the Lord Barengar filing a complaint on Kara and Evie for the actions of the previous night. I approached him with respect and confessed my crime. He told me that court would be held and that he would hear what we had to say for ourselves then.

It was at this point that I knew what I had to do. I gave Azurewrath to my second in Command and told him it was his should I fail to return. Then warned Hygar and confessed the truth of my actions and intent, he offered to join me in court and support my actions which I readily accepted. I sat to King Cecil’s left and took full responsibility for my crime of assault on the Lords guard, and used my explanation as an avenue to accuse Lord Barengar of plotting his nieces death. Sir Avendar used his ability to determine evil and made the man proclaim that he was indeed evil in front of the court. And so King Cecil granted protection to Christine and made a very similar proclamation to the Lord that I had made just the evening before, except now it was made by a King. And so an innocent girl was protected and saved for the price of me paying twenty Chevron to compensate Lord Barengar for the recovery of his guard. As I walked to exit the trial, heroes of the realms from many different nations all tried to shove gold into my hands, one by one I waved them away and thanked them for their friendship and solidarity. Until one, who shall remain nameless explained where the gold came from… and I smiled and promptly paid my debt.

Before exiting the lands of Chimeron, Lako, Hygar and myself joined by a few strong Voraniss warriors elected to build a house in the dreaming for someone Thoril called “The Realizer?” so that Thoril could attend the Fae council with Evie. It turned out to be a maddening experience of killing “generic monster guards” and guessing their favorite colors. Hygars maddening laughter at some of their choices and our odd guesses will haunt my dreams for a lifetime. “The Realizer” then told us he owed us a favor which I was then told is a good thing to have. Exhausted I returned to Voraniss to rest and reflect on the confusion.

OOC: This event was amazing. The heat was a challenge for both players and staff but the open world format allowed for rest without shame. This in character portion of this is only a reflection of what I personally experienced. I heard tell of so many other adventures, puzzles, battles and more. I’m pretty sure after reading this that I left out much of my own experience as well but as you can see this is already a very long “what you missed”.

Here’s the short version… “You missed a great time.”