Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Why I Want to Go-Pick Up Realms II: The Monster Mash

by Lani "Gwen" Jones

If you find yourself in the Worcester area this Saturday, you should come and check out the second installment in Pick Up Realms. This event will feature fun and games, and lots of plot and NPCs to interact with. The main event of course is the Terrific Triumvirate Tournament, which should be a lot of fun. However, I think what will make this event super fun is the encouragement to engage with a variety of plots and the opportunity to interact with new and interesting characters. The EH’s have encouraged players to try out new characters and to bring their own plots to the party.

An event like this is sure to be a fun time, as everyone engages in some good silly fun while they interact with monsters, do some politicking, and maybe even get caught up in a Time Snarl or two. I love the concept of mixing business with pleasure, and I know that the staff is looking forward to providing an opportunity for you to get involved as well. If you have any ideas, reaching out to the EH staff is a great place to start.

Some come out, enjoy some light snacks, epic games of chance, and lots of plot besides. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Why I Want to Go-Carnage Gaming Convention

by Lani "Gwen" Jones

Many of us have a diverse set of interests besides just hitting each other with foam swords and eating delicious foods. If you are someone who enjoys a wide variety of nerd culture outside of the Realms, this is a perfect weekend to mix it up, and show off all the awesome things Realms has too offer to boot. Carnage Gaming Convention is both a Realms event and a Con, which means you can have the best of both worlds this weekend.

There will be a variety of games to play, as well as other LARPs, but honestly you should consider going because the Realms is special, and we should make it a priority to show that off whenever we get the chance. The entry price for the Con has been reduced if you introduce yourself as a member of the Realms, and that’s pretty epic.

So play some great board games, card games, or build an army of minis while also demonstrating why our community is great to some excited newbies. Events like these build our community and make us stronger. This may well be the event where you get to connect with someone who will be an integral part of the future of the Realms, and who wants to miss something like that?

Friday, October 26, 2018

On This Day

Once again on this Flashback Friday lets take a look at what was published on the View in years past on this date!

2016 - G.O.F.E.R. T.W.O: A Tale of Mystery and Malpractice

The always eloquent Sir Syruss walked us through the happenings at G.O.F.E.R with an amazingly spun tale of adventure, excitement, and noir detective drama.

https://viewfromvalehaven.blogspot.com/2016/10/gofer-two-tale-of-mystery-and.html

2015 - An Atypical View

Our mysterious comic artist of days past poked fun at a common Realms trope; that annoying PC who always thought it make more sense to parlay with the monsters rather than mercilessly slaughter them and take all of their stuff.

https://viewfromvalehaven.blogspot.com/2015/10/an-atypical-view_26.html


2012 - Behind the Scenes at Feast of Folkestone

With a plethora of detailed pictures and descriptions, Angie Gray gave us a detailed look at the preparation and planning that was necessary to make Feast of Folkestone successful.

https://viewfromvalehaven.blogspot.com/2012/08/behind-scenes-feast-of-folkestone.html

Thursday, October 25, 2018

A Voraniss Adventure: Part I


 by Renee "Kindrianna" Booke

“People fear what they don’t understand and hate what they can’t conquer.” From my very first days in the Realms, I knew this to be true. I was a Tiefling who had just claimed my freedom from the depths of the Abyss, and there were many adventurers who felt uneasy with my presence despite my best attempts at making friends. Now that I am a werewolf, I find that things are still the same. I have friends within these Realms that know me for my actions rather than what dwells within my blood, but the ignorance, the fear, and the hatred still lurk just beyond our borders.

It was a day much like any other in Voraniss. The sun was high in the sky and her rays found all the cracks in the forest canopy that she could; raining her light upon the pine needles and dried leaves that covered the woodland floor. I remember this day in particular because I had found a very nice napping spot where I could get comfortable and be in the sun at the same time, but my lounging was disrupted by a very frantic Wynn.

“Mama Mouse! Mama Mouse!” Wynn called, stumbling over roots in her hurry to get to me.

I sat up with a yawn, stretching my arms up over my head. “Yes? What is it, sweetheart? Does Mama need to smite someone?”

“I smelled something delicious and-and I thought it might be cake! So I followed it!” She paused in her statement, trying to gauge whether or not I was paying attention. Cake was very serious business to Wynn after all.

I patted the ground next to me, trying to see if I could get her to sit down and be calm, but there was more to her story. “Okay…” I replied with a bit of a chuckle, “Did you find the cake?”

She shook her head from side to side, pointing back the way she had come. “No! There wasn’t any cake, but they had sweet smelling things that they were eating with their hands!”

“Cupcakes?” I gently inquired.

Again she shook her head quickly. “It looked like bread!”

“Oooh, I think you mean biscuits. Those can be sweet if they have honey on them.” In my foolishness, I wasn’t asking her the important questions. In truth, I didn’t realize there was more to her frustration until she stomped her feet and huffed to get my attention.

“I gotta show you them,” she whined, trying to tug at my arm.

“The biscuits? Oh, sweetie, I’ve seen biscuits before. It’s okay. I can show you how to make them if you really want,” I said. I took her hand and let her pull me to my feet, feeling a little guilty that she was so distressed.

“Not the biscuits! The people!”

I could feel the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. People? I squinted my eyes and turned to look at Wynn more seriously. “What people, Wynnie? Did you know them?”

“No. They didn’t look like Uncle Cronin or the Broken Spears, and they didn’t smell like anyone else in the pack. They were camping in the woods and they got mad when I came to share biscuits. They started yelling really loud and went to get their bows. I didn’t like it so I left,” Wynn pouted. Her innocent mind couldn’t fully comprehend the potential threat.

I tried to stay calm so that she wouldn’t be alarmed, pulling her close and giving her a gentle kiss on the forehead. “There, there. We will make our own biscuits for the pack and you can have as many as you like,” I said, trying to comfort her. “Do you remember where these people were? Mama is gonna go scold them, okay? We gotta teach them how to share.”

“Somewhere near the Boar Shrine, I think. I don’t remember exactly,” she answered, returning the hug.

“That’s okay. You did good. Thank you.” I continued to hug her until I was certain she had calmed down a little bit. “You want to help Mama? Let’s sniff out the others and see who is nearby to help. I bet Uncle Cronin will have some good words for those guys. And Thoril will offer to do something completely outrageous but totally loving in its own twisted way.”

“Like when he wants to try and tap into reality, bend it, and summon cake from every plane of existence?” Wynn blinked as she laughed and looked up at me.

“Y-yes,” I replied as I patted her on the head. “Exactly like that.” I was a little concerned about her fervor for Thoril’s antics but decided to ultimately dismiss it as typical cake enthusiasm. I knew Wynn, and her passion for baked goods truly knew no bounds. I also had other things to worry about and needed to stay focused on the bigger picture. There were trespassers in my home, and they had made a very big mistake whether they knew it or not.

Besides coming into the forest uninvited, besides the fact that they had picked up their weapons when they saw my daughter, they had decided to camp near the Boar Shrine of all places. For their sakes, I hoped I could find them before Mogar did. If they took up arms against the Orc, who held great reverence for Mon’ghora the Boar Totem, I had no doubt that this fiasco would end with bloodshed. As Champion, Mogar was very protective of our forest and all of its inhabitants. He wasn’t going to take kindly to such intrusions to begin with. This had the potential to be a large scale disaster.

“Okay, Wynnie. Let’s get going. Who do you think is closest?” We started walking hand in hand as she sniffed the air, pointing out a direction to me.

“Tulkhan is over that way!” she exclaimed proudly.

“Then let’s go get ‘em. We’re going to need his help.”



Wednesday, October 24, 2018

What You Missed - Ashenbounty 2018


by Cory "Asharn" Roy

We arrived in Pacifica ready to help King Skyros. We started off the night by finding refugees looking to become part of Pacifica. Among these refugees there was suspicion of one possible spy who had ill intent for the king. While helping these refugees we also had to deal with the wildlife on the island, which included bears and panthers (aka Fast Bears). Later in the night King Skyros called us to the tavern to welcome the newly found Pacificans, one of which was Mariana who became one of the King’s personal guards. When the ceremony was about to finish the King collapsed. It seemed the corrupted champion of Calypso was hurting the island and that was causing the King pain and probably would have led to his death. The heroes of the realms rushed to the shrine to face the corrupted champion. To beat her we had to align stars into the correct shapes and under Saka’s direction and lots of fighting we made the four constellations. Then the heroes of the realms where empowered and struck down the corrupted champion. When we made it back to the tavern King Skyros was already recovering and we all decided that we should rest up for the coming Imperium the next day.

The next morning we meet up with the King who tells us that the Imperium does not seem to be what they were, there were reports that members of the Imperium where under some kind of control by Anther. We decided to try and make a potion to save those who were being controlled. While doing this we also made our way over to three temples that were on the island to the Gods Gaia, Rawonam, and Dionin. Our task was to gain favor from these Gods so they would help us in the coming fight against Anther. During these challenges a few of the realms were doing trials to earn a suit of armor that would allow them to go toe to toe with the corrupted champion of Rawonam. The people in the running where Saegan, Tao, and Elouan. We ended up finding out Anther was controlling Mariana’s brother Antonio and we wanted to try and get him back. We tried everything we could but it seemed hopeless when we couldn't cure him even with a stronger version of the decorruption potion. Eventually at Mariana’s request we laid him to rest so that he wouldn't suffer at Anther’s hand anymore. After we gained enough favor we had a dinner with the king and a few of us sat with the king to plan what to do. During the day a spy was killed, they were carrying a note saying that they would be attacking points of the realms. Those places were an enchanted grove in Gau Dring, Cold Springs in Rhiassa, and Acteon in Blackwood. We would have to defend these points from the corrupted champions.

Once dinner was finished we took a portal to Gau Dring to defend this grove from the champion of Gaia. She was obviously sick from Anther’s corruption and among her forces were Eshkin, some large turtle monsters, and a few Minotaurs. After a while of fighting off these monsters we eventually attuned to some instruments that Gaia placed there for us so that we could beat the champion and we quickly took her down after that and made our way through another portal to Rhiassa. Here we defended Cold Springs from an attack by Rawonam’s champion while Saegan, Tao, and Elouan finished their trials and got the suit of armor, they agreed it was fitting for Elouan to wear it and face off against the champion. The Champion of Rhiassa defending his home from the corrupted champion, facing him one on one as the heroes of the realms chanted and cheered for him. Soon Elouan was victorious but we didn't have much time to celebrate as we still had to rush to defend Blackwood. We get to a graveyard in Acteon and are greeted by a mixture of undead and ghosts. After fighting our way in further we realize that there were necromancers there that we had to fight through the undead they were controlling to defeat. We had to surround the necromancers in these different colored essences to beat them. Once we finished defending the different places in the realms we were portaled back to Pacifica. Here we found King Skyros and Mariana trapped in vines and held captive by Anther. We had to find and free the people Anther captured to free Skyros. Anytime we destroyed Anther he spawned back out of the vines in Mariana. Once we had set free most of Skyros’s advisor and Canary Cowl Anther killed Mariana by using her to spawn once more. We killed Anther again to get the last piece of the key to free Skyros. After it was in place Anther reformed out of Skyros and we had to kill him one final time. After he was defeated some people held a vigil for Mariana since we were unable to save her. The next day was spent taking out the remainder of Anther’s corrupted army while we worked to make a memorial for Mariana and her brother Antonio to help their souls rest. We have saved Pacifica and defeated Anther and now King Skyros can work on making a great home for the surviving nation.

Asharn of Rhiassa

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Why I Want to Go-Black and White 2018

By Lani "Gwen" Jones

Although each event brings something special and unique to the Realms community, Black and White is by far one of the staple events that consistently brings the Realms together for food, fighting, and plot. Each and every year, the team brings together a variety of what the Realms offers and executes an event that excites all types of players.

For myself, I always look forward to wandering around in the woods and engaging in plot. However, if you are interested in tournaments, there are plenty to be had. Looking to gamble? You can do that too. Interested in delicious food and poison punch? You got it. Black and White also features on my favorite auctions of the year, and gauging from the number of people who are holding tickets after court, I’m not the only one.

One thing that stands out to me about Black and White is that is one of the few events of the year that regularly features a costume change as players get ready to show off their finest as they watch Chimeron court and prepare for the masquerade ball.
I love that this event brings together the community, as we each find time to engage in the activities that we enjoy best. If you’ve never been before, I hope you’ll come and see what I mean. If however, like many of us, you’ve been year after year, then you know exactly what I’m talking about and you’ve already whet your appetite both literally and figuratively looking forward to all that the Chimeron team has to offer us.

Friday, October 19, 2018

What You Missed at Bicolline


by Andy "Sir Shean" Disbrow

What you missed at: Quies ante tempestatem - campagne maritime 13 octobre 2018
The Realms Embassy members who attended:
Attended by Sir Shean O’Quinnlin- of Creathorne
Bart and Gordon- un affiliated

Total participants 600+ fighters on the field, 1000+ at the tavern night.

What do you think about tempestatem: I'll take you to the tempête, et quelle tempête!

The calm being back, the admirals enter safely and find their family and friends. The new year promises to be hectic like the waves of the oceans ...

On October 13, the year 1018, the Imperial Fleet suffered a major defeat which caused the loss of all our Maritime Provinces in conflict. By the Emperor's grace we have only lost a ship, the Alexandra, from which I have been rescued by our brave fighters of the seas.

In the face of this defeat, I nevertheless wish to salute all the fighters for the courage and perseverance you exercised during this bloody hilt. Even when the dead covered the decks of our ships and our allies were fleeing the battle, you were able to stand up to the enemy and manage to defeat him several times.

Señoras y Señores, this battle is only the beginning of the war on the seas of Bicolline. The mobilization of the Imperial Fleet continues and strikes will be organized by the Imperial Maritime Company (CMI). I invite all those who can help join the ranks of our organization as soon as possible to make our enemies pay for this defeat. Indeed, during the next year's maritime elections, the Carcosa nation will support us with their ships that will be captured or reduced to wrecks...

Admirals, Captains, and Seamen of the Empire; prepare yourself for a year that will stain the ship's hulls of the world of Bicolline red with blood that will be poured into its seas.









Photos provided by Andy Disbrow

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Grimloch Questing

by: Tempest (Lynn Butler)

The Friday night air hit exposed skin, as feasting gear never truly covers,
The loud musics beat blasting from a busy kitchen filled with feastocrats and a hall filled with food lovers
Small little foods to hold people over as liquor filled bellies would feel a little better.

People wandered and talked and drank, smiling from ear to ear.
The night carried on and people got tipsy some way too out there I fear,
From some drunken buddy’s falling outside on the pavement to other letting out tears,
Of laughter from the smallest little things.

Sleep is a wonder unless you wake up hungover but even then Saturday always starts with coffee.
Grabbing quest gear and a bottle of water, adventurers went out on their way, paying last night’s drunk fee.
“Surprise we are all in Booms dream.” Great.

We all wandered around looking for puzzles, even though I showed up a little late.
I just helped raise people.
By grabbing bodies when Boom’s farmers of discipline killed them for touching the puzzles.
“Is that yours? Nope!” “Dead.” “Dammit Guys.”
But, to get the puzzle we had to cut their ownership ties,
With a little honorable combat.

During that a frog of disease shot arrows, mostly at the Auroran.
Who, yes, ran.

Grab all the stuff, and come on down, to Boom’s Dream Carnival.
Get 1,000 tickets but try not to die,
From the lycanthropes wandering about and some evil witches whisper cry,
Death wishing our dead with a smirk upon her lips.
Without much thought or any doubt,
Syruss called “Hey Voraniss, found your guys.” Only to be met with my pout.
“Listen, not every werewolf is a Voraniss werewolf.
Nice thought though.”
GRAND PRIZE HAS BEEN WON!
A block? That was the hidden fun?
Aaaaand Boom threw it into the flames up at reg...okay...

Some brave people went running off while others warmed themselves up, with some nice hot chocolate.
Off to purify the water for the flowers we have been collecting...oh yeah...we are collecting flowers.
Running to get the water I used most of my powers, warding off damned Enchanted beings.
“The power of Vandor protects me from all enchanted beings~.  DAMNIT KID MOVE!” Yelling as we all fled.
A little ward and little legs don’t work normally when you have a kiddo not listening, if it wasn’t for my God I would have left him dead.

It took awhile but we made it, building a fire to the underworld, no harm with that right?.
Using some dragons breath on the flames we got that fire going while some got a chance to sit tight.
*Dinner Break. Yummy Yummy*
Oh no more Boom Dreams too, I think, I can’t fully recall, Matiya said we were done with his head at that point. I guess I’ll just listen to mummy.

Alrighty, it’s dark, we’re in the underworld dealing with some hounds from hell.
They were starving and we could all tell.
But slowly and surely you give them treats and trust can be earned.
Out within the field a familiar figure,
Armor of gold and entity of dark linger.
Then a lady of spring, the light within the dark.
“Hades...Persephone...”
The young spring running away from the sharks grasp to help the adventures while I stayed by the darks side.
Small talk flowed smoothly like the tide,
Before anger erupted.
Persephone wishing to leave, Hades fighting for her to stay.
Hades went down, many keeping him at bay.
“2 Days. Max.”
“Yes Sir.”

Well, more drinking, more fun, the night went on.
Alcohol making many it's drunken pawn.
Until sleep swept over and cold set in.
The cabins air frigid and bed frames feeling like cold metal tin.
The morning resulting in Persephone’s return.
Hades giving a small smile, as his spring has returned.

Scene. 



Why I Want to Go-Ashenbounty VII

by Lani "Gwen" Jones

I have been lucky enough to participate in every event in the Imperium series, and as much as endings can be bittersweet, I am so excited to see the exciting conclusion that the Ashenmark team has for this plot. Every event has featured interesting mechanics, opportunities for engaging role-play, and plenty of silly fun to boot. Some of the most memorable for me involve plant monsters with googly eyes, a library with some very interesting books (that caused many of us to behave in very interesting ways), and a lightening scorpion. If you are able, I highly suggest that you make it out for the final event in the series, which I'm sure will be even more spectacular.

This year, groups of five or more who are bound together by knighthood, nation, or order can also increase their protection by creating a war banner. That means you still have a few days to band together your friends and create a banner. If you are able, this is a great opportunity to show off your Realms' pride, and offers a unique opportunity for a questing party to really engage with the plot.

And, as always, it wouldn't be a Why I Want to Go if I didn't mention the food. I've seen the menu and I know that Twen is very excited to serve you a warm and hearty meal that genuinely celebrates the flavors of fall. I would be a liar if I didn't tell you that I plan on eating second helpings of everything she has in store for us.

I'd love to see you this weekend, and celebrate what I hope will be a victorious end for the Realms as we work together to hopefully defeat the Imperium once and for all.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

What You Missed at Feast of Grimloch

by Angie "Phoenix" Gray

What did you miss at Feast of Grimloch you ask?? Me in my crown. See??  

Photo provided by Jason Gray

You also missed seeing many other amazing people and really, those are two of the key things that make a feast great aren’t they?  Dressing fancy and being in good company.

As we arrived, I was excited to see that the guest weren’t the only things looking fancy. The feast hall was aglow with magical strings of light. It was a large venue with plenty of room for a crowd.  

Entering the first site was wares from the Bronze Forge laid out for purchase. They seemed to be both high quality and reasonable prices. We picked up some new arrows to try out.  

The evening as a whole was a good break from odd strangers showing up among us, and random unexpected attacks.  I spent the majority of the evening playing cards with a unique and innovative chip set composed of tiny containers of various foodstuff.   Other activities including throwing bean bags at a holes, a mixology contest (won by Sir Tao who let me try a sip of his concoction so I can attest it truly was worthy), and Grimloch’s shank and bail.  For those that don’t know it is an obstacle course like race, which also involves combatants, jumping out to avoid or kill.

Along with the multiple planned activities, as always people were making their own fun. For example, Vanduke and Evie bopped along, for a bit, doing something that was either a dance or animal imitation, among the groups of people sharing conversation and comradery.

While I mentioned two of the key things that make a feast great, I’d be very remiss if I didn’t talk about the third essential component of a good feast- the food!! Empress Katasha was my kitchen slave master’s mentor’s mentor and has been someone whose cooking expertise I’ve admired for over two decades.  The quality of the offerings didn’t disappoint.

We started out with a nacho bar, which included tasty things like spicy chicken, salsa, sour cream, and jalapenos to load on to our chips in proportions that best suited our taste.  Next up was a variety of flat breads loaded with flavor. The buffalo chicken one was one of my two favorite dishes of the night. Following that was beef pho served up by Sir Blade and Sir PJ. For the uninitiated, you cover thinly sliced high quality beef, rice noodles, and sprouts with an amazing bone broth and add spices to suit your taste. The broth cooks the other ingredients.   

The main course was balsamic pork tenderloin accompanied by spinach artichoke potatoes and brown butter broccoli.    

I must confess that I have a tiny sweet tooth and regularly skip desert post stuffing myself with other offerings. That was the case here too so I have no firsthand knowledge of it but have been told the meal concluded with whoopie pies in a multitude of flavors- classic, pumpkin, and cider followed by apple dumplings.

In short it was a wonderful to have Katasha cooking for the Realms again, the food was excellent, our host were gracious and the company was good.


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

What You Missed - Feast of Grimloch (photos)

All photos by Jason Rosa

The feast hall is ready


Nacho bar appetizer

A selection of flatbreads


Soup course: pho with assorted toppings

Pho with bean sprouts, sliced beef and scallions

Improvising condiments for missing poker chips

Entree: brown butter broccoli, spinach artichoke potatoes, balsamic pork

Hole Corn Tournament

Mingling during the evening 

An assortment of whoopie pies

More dessert!




Friday, October 12, 2018

The View Retrospective - Cartoon



Scan by Jeremy Grayson. Originally published in The View From Valehaven, 2nd Ed, Volume 3, Issue 5. June 2006.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Ask the Editors - New Plotholders


Me and my friends have all these great ideas for plots and quests and I really want to throw them. But I don't have any event holding experience. Is there an easy way to start throwing plot without just jumping into throwing whole events?

****

Many events have opportunities to throw scenarios.  For example, Chimeron Questing that is coming up in July averages 100 possible scenarios during the time of the event.  If you have ideas and want to start small, a venue like this is the way to go.  I also cannot stress enough to find an experienced EH and bring them on board, even just as a mentor/ consultant.    Regardless of the size of the scenario or event, they could give you valuable insight into how to make your dreams a reality for everyone.

-Steven “Therian” Matulewicz

****

One of the things that makes Realms really special is that anybody with the gumption can tell their own story. I think it’s wise that as a new event holder you aren’t trying to jump right into throwing a three day quest (been there, done that, and there is quite a learning curve). There are lots of ways to start out small until you build up your confidence to throw a whole event on your own. For example, in the past, there have been whole events dedicated to helping newer players throw their own plot, such as Learning to Fly. If you can team up with experienced event holders who can help fund and staff your event, well then, congratulations, you are in a golden spot to really run with your ideas while getting feedback from the experts. If you don’t actively have a mentor, or such a call for plot isn’t out at the time, it might be a good idea to reach out to EH’s to see if they would be interested in having you run a small encounter at their event. This usually flies better at tournaments or feasts where there is less in the way of active questing going on. In addition, you might be able to throw a whole night quest if you can find the right event and EH to team up with. The moral of the story is that you are going to have to do some work to pull this off. You are going to have to ask questions to people you might not know very well, you are going to have to be prepared to hear the word no and not get offended by it--but if you are willing to put in the work, there are venues out there for you to test out the event-throwing waters. Good luck!

-Lani “Gwen” Jones

****

The easiest way to get experience with plot is to volunteer to help throw it with someone else. The experience is pretty valuable, in my opinion, personally I’d even say the best experience you can get is from joining the team that throws your favorite event series. It may seem like a bit of a sacrifice, but if you really want to get into the Event Throwing side of things, the team that throws your favorite events is probably the team you want to learn from.

Outside of that, infrequently there are events that offer slots for smaller quests, like Storytellers for example, or Convergences once upon a time.

-Keith “Saegan” Cronyn



Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Why I Want to Go-Feast of Grimloch and Grimloch Questing

By Lani “Gwen” Jones

This weekend is Feast of Grimloch and Grimloch Questing and you should definitely make it a point to come out for so many reasons.

For one thing, Katasha is running an epic kitchen on Friday night. As a great feastocrat of the Realms, I know she has so many delicious things planned for us, and I can’t wait. There has been test cooking of some fabulous recipes, and I know Katasha is looking forward to sharing her gifts with the Realms again. In addition, there will be a twist on Cornhole called Whole Corn and a super awesome mixed drink contest to keep everyone entertained.

The rest of the weekend will feature some exciting questing for adventurers of the Realms. The EH’s have put a lot of thought into designing an event that will keep you engaged and entertained. The questing has something for everyone: fighting, puzzles, and lots of new and interesting mechanics that I guarantee will impress. Come and save Boom from the dangers he is facing up in the northern lands of Grimloch. And at the end of the night, feel free to celebrate around the fire pit and recount your tales of bravery to all your friends.

One of the exciting things about this event is the location. This is a brand new site for the Realms located in Spencer, MA and it has lots of really cool features including beautiful walking trails, a waterfront, and lots of really cool buildings that I’m sure the EH’s will make excellent use of during the event.

I’m so excited to see everyone this weekend! It’s going to be awesome and I hope to see you all there.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Did I Read That Right?

 by Josh "Lako" Fitzgerald

This article is on an OOC basis any information given here should not be brought IC without it being specified.

So this is a bit of an expansion on my Normal Article of Did I read that Right? with other player perspective and stories added.

Almost every weekend many of us come together to play our characters and join in a world we know as the Realms. Many people come together to one event but many people come for their own reason, some for the fight, others to see old friends, some for the adventure, and others just for a place to be. Over the course of the weekend we all should be there as our characters and anything that happens over the weekend should be left to those characters, if you are ever feeling like you are taking things OOC revisit yourself and your character and find a way to seperate it. Below are the Rules concerning OOC and IC. At the bottom of this will be written examples of people's experiences as both an IC and OOC situations.

I know it's a lot to read, but these are rules we play by and they should be considered and respected as much as calling your shots and casting your spells correctly, to not follow these means you are still breaking Rules and are cheating in the Game.

I have Highlighted where I have seen people skirt the Rules or are unaware of them being there. I am not innocent in this either, but I will be making steps toward staying IC at all times I am able to.

Honestly as this is written if you aren’t IC at all times you are breaking the Rules of the game, needed OOC circumstances aside.

4.1: In-Character and Out-of-Character

Being In-Character

Generally, events officially begin after the safety rules, any specific site rules, and other special event rules have been read aloud to the gathered players.

Once an event has begun, you are expected to be in-character (IC) at all times. This means that you are playing your PC the whole time you are at an event. Staying IC can add greatly not only to your own event experience, but to those who are playing the game around you. When a companion of your PC is "killed" it adds to the tension and drama of the scene if they pretend they are dead, but it breaks the mood completely if they are laughing and making comments.

Your character may feel differently than you do about something, like slavery, magic, politics, or religion. You may be a pacifist, while your character is a bloodthirsty barbarian. If you can remain true to the character, despite your differences, you can make a memorable story for yourself and those around you. Sometimes staying IC is challenging, especially when you know something that your character shouldn't logically know, but you should try to remain IC when playing. Likewise, when the game is done, leave your character behind.

So this Section above I think gets overlooked many times when new or old players are reading the Rules or being introduced to them. I feel these rules might actually be the most important ones in our book, this not only defines when you begin and end as your character during the weekend but it also defines how we all interact in the game and keep it moving forward.

The below is my comment on this section:
I feel this is the most important part of our rule book this section is quite literally the base of the game we play and the world we all play in, without this we would just be playing a sport. Instead we all come together to Larp, we all come together for Live Action Role Playing.

We all must remember we are doing this for fun and that should be the first thing we think about, but it is also our responsibility to ensure everyone is having fun. Remember that sometimes your character will go through hardships, things they don’t like, things you don’t like you always have the choice about how you
react to it.

Sometimes getting into those heated moments with people or entire Nations can really add to the level of game we play. It can add really interesting points and situations. On the other hand while it isn’t for everyone and should only be done with all parties involved and understanding, having your character fall in love with another can also add some very interesting moments of character pull and decision making.



Breaking Character

Once an event has begun, breaking character should be done only when necessary. If you must do so, what you say should be prefaced with "Out-of-character," as in "Out-of-character, where is the tenting area?" That way, the person you are addressing knows that it is a real-world concern, and should be dealt with differently than a strictly IC concern.
Sometimes when players get really into character, you may begin to wonder whether animosity or other emotions are completely IC. It is acceptable to break character to make sure everything is in fact still IC and no one's feelings are getting hurt OOC.

The below is my comment on this section:
If you are ever unsure of a situation, whether or not it's IC or OOC, just ask. Never have i met anyone who gets mad at that clarification, seriously ask.

The rest is just to try and find ways to not break character for every day questions, instead of I have to go to my car you could say “I have to go to the carriage” I mean your character got to the lands somehow.

“I need to go to Dunkins this morning” you could instead say “I am going to run some errands before the tournaments today”

It really is about finding those things that pull you OOC and instead finding things that pull you more IC. It is the smallest of words and sentences that can really change your perspective between IC and OOC.

Out-of-Character-Only Terms
There are a few terms that should only be used when speaking OOC: “Hold” and “Medic.” Hold is only used in emergencies as it stops the game. Read Section 2.3: The Safety Rules for more information on the correct use of the word Hold. Medic is used when someone needs immediate real-world medical attention for any reason: an allergic reaction to a bee-sting, a twisted ankle, an asthma attack, etc. Do not call “Medic” for imaginary (IC) injuries. If you need IC medical attention, call "Healer!"
Out-of-Play Areas and Time-Out
The EH has the option of declaring portions of the event site as "out-of-play" for safety reasons or for NPC use. Never use these out-of-play areas as safe havens.
If a fight breaks out in an area that is unsafe to fight in or that is out-of-play, then the fight should be moved to a safe in-play area. If you are in such an area, you may be asked to leave said area for combat. If you refuse to leave the unsafe area, your PC is considered dead. After the fight, those involved can move back to where the fight "really" took place, and continue on.
An EH is free to create an in-game safe area if they choose. For example, powerful enchantments on the tavern may render weapons and hostile magic inoperable within the tavern walls. In this case, it is fine for players to hide there, since they will be taking advantage of an in-game effect.
EHs may also declare a time-out during an event for sleep, dinner, etc. While on an event site, if you are not acting as an NPC at the EH's request, or you are not in a time-out, a character is liable to be attacked, and their possessions open to theft.

The below is my comment on this section:
I think this section applies to not only how the character interacts with the world around them but also the way an EH can set up their sites. I have seen it at times that EH’s have set up OOC play areas for people who want to drop OOC for a bit or need to take care of some OOC situations. I did this for my event and it worked absolutely wonderful as far as I saw.

The Rest of this is less about being OOC and Ic and more about making sure everyone is safe during combat.


In short I believe these parts of the Rules to be very important and need to be reviewed by the Realms as a whole. We as people should not ever be OOC affected by IC actions but it happens. We should do everything in our power to understand we are all here for a game, if everyone stays IC and begins to play as an individual character then the game can only improve for it.

With that said eventually those who want to not play a character may begin to find themselves sucked in and find their own play on the IC side of things. We all play this game, we all love the community, learning to play as our Characters and join together as friends OOC will go a long way to bringing Realms into a better place as a Larp community.

I have asked a number of people to write up instances that happened to them IC and how they handled it both IC and OOC. Learning from them I think can be a great asset into how you yourself can separate IC and OOC.

Or

I asked them how they are able to separate their character from actions and consequences their characters have.

IC (In Character) and OOC (Out of Character), these are two separate yet equally important groups. The character that you play and the person playing the character, These are their stories. DUN DUN DUN


Cal O’Leary/ Syruss
-Back when I used to live with Bobby Gryff we were on opposite sides of the Malaphas Demon plot that Mythguard was throwing, then we would often scalp, steal and try to thwart each other. We use to keep secrets for our actions but didn't allow that rivalry to affect our friendship or our living situation.-

-I try to ask the question does this make Syruss feel something or Cal feel something. Take for instance the murder Syruss is comfortable with depraved acts of that nature, Cal not so much. Somethings are tough recently Slavery was an issue in New Veri, Cal is not ok with owning people, Syruss would probably lean neutral. It is about comfort levels and knowing when enough is enough. Also I tend to draw lines at actions that tend to offend people or bother people on an OOc level-


Jordan Rollo/ Ivory
-I separate my IC personality from my OOC personality by trying to create an almost opposite personality for IC. For example i used to play a character named Ebony who was essentially dark and kinda an asshole with no honor. That (I hope) is not me. I do LARP to live a different life and try on different personalities. So separating IC from OOC is one of my main focuses. If I feel that my character begins to meld with my IRL self too much I try looking at situations how Jordan would react to it. And them compare to how i think the character SHOULD react to it and go from there.-

- Currently I am playing Ivory. Who tends to meld with my personality a bit. One big difference is Ivory is now in a personal conflict with Jack of Redwall so we dont get along very well. OOC I get along with Shane deshone great-


Adrian Cronin/ Cronin
-I can recall a moment at Feast of Blackwood where Cronin was asked how to spell “Norlund”. After discussing the plight of Ragnarok. I almost did it before remembering that despite being an accomplished diplomat, Cronin is quite illiterate. And so I responded with, “Draw my sounds... Norrrrrrllllluuuuunnnnndddd”. It got a bit of a laugh but I felt like it added a bit of realism to the conversation.-

- My character has a few quirks that I do my best to keep in mind while dealing with situations that help keep a clear division between OOC and IC. Cronin, though having values outside of his station that many would classify as “good”, is a tactician. With that in mind, he views things in terms of advantage and disadvantage, enemies and allies. So when twists happen in plots where enemies attempt to manipulate the party by arguing ethics Cronin is a bit stubborn about eliminating threats.

-Also Cronin is quite superstitious, and so when he encounters magic users beyond his understanding he usually gives them a wide berth during rituals etc. and even though as a player I am comfortable with the magic system Cronin retains a sense of wonder and caution when it comes to both the divine and the occult.-


Hannah Blood/ Nhadala
-In character I had something said to me with out of character context. It was extremely offensive, and ended up crossing back into IC consequences for the individual. It was hard for me to separate character feels and OOC feels, as it seemed easy for everyone else. I honestly just couldn’t talk to them for a long time, because I couldn’t sort out my feelings for it. I’m still salty about it (haha), but am able to interact IC and keep my feelings aside. -

-If on Facebook, I feel that I am always out of character unless clearly labeling IC before a post. I am posting as Hannah Blood, not as my character name. -

-During Questing hours, I consider myself in character, unless otherwise noted. If at a LARP my character doesn’t like someone, or disapproves of something, I try to mend bonds later. There was an event where I said some mean IC things to Thoril, and when I next saw him at Queen of Hearts I tried to OOC explain that is was truly PvP, and I admire his spirit in game.-


Tonya Pirrone/ Lyra/ Kyllthara
-Hmmm. Well Lyra is not that diffrent from me. She's an introvert, prefers to be on the fringe of a group rather than IN a group. She will participate when she feels she has something to add to the group but otherwise is more comfortable solo. With Kyllthara I try to be more socially confident and in the middle of things even though it takes me outside my comfort zone. She is more outgoing.-

-OOC I've been bellydancing (and hula) for a long time. Aside from a few accidents (jahovas witnesses and a meter man) nobody's ever seen me dance. Its something I do that's therapeutic, like meditation. I did not get into it to impress anyone or be sexy. I've been trying to get up the nerve to dance at an event. Kyllthara might be how I seperate myself from my selfconciousness long enough to do so. Being Egyptian it fits her character and cultural way of dress ect. So that is something I'm working on. The more I play her the more confident I get 'in' her. Does that make sence?-


John Rescigno/ Gordon
-For me separating my IC personality from my OOC is a matter of confidence and decision making. Gordon is much more confident than I am in real life and definitely more foolhardy. He doesn’t think before jumping into a situation as often and acts on impulse and positive emotion. I like to think of myself being more calculating and careful in real life-


Tom Gallagher/ Avendar/ The Spider
-At the beginning of every event I have a mantra I say to myself that switches me from Tom to the character. I say it 3 times, the spider's is eat to live, live to eat.
I intentionally make my characters have different aspects to they're persona than my own. This help prevent them from bleeding together. Avendar for instance sees the world in black and white and is very religious, while I do neither of these things.-


Dano Knobel/ Piper
-Making a distinct separation between myself and the character that I play is a little difficult for me because Piper often represents a version of me at the time that I began playing. Over the decade that I have been with the Realms, I have evolved as a player in a different direction than Piper has as a character. In order to keep the two of us separate, I do my best to keep OOC or meta knowledge separate. I do this by making a quick comparison between two courses of action that I could take. First, I think about the steps that I would take to tackle whatever situation has arisen. Then I think about what kind of knowledge Piper has in his current situation. I make a mental note of where the two diverge and ensure that I take the path that is more in line with staying IC. This often comes up with lore. Whilst I have played a lot of video games, read scores of fantasy novels, and have participated in a load of tabletop RPG's, Piper may not have knowledge of all the creatures, planes, and deities I have encountered. Therefore, I do my best to act without drawing upon my outside knowledge and use it as an opportunity to learn it IC.-


James Murphy/ Tao
-Because of character action I, as the knight commander, had to strip a knight of his belt. While I liked the person out of character I had to take real action against a friend IC. The other person did not take it well, and it took us years to be friends again in character. We had several long conversations about why I took the actions I did. We also talked about the actions they did to warrant the action in the first place. In the end we both understood the other person better. I regret the years it took to get back to where we are now, but the bond between us is now stronger then it ever was. This is a good example where ic/ooc brought us closer together now, but the years it took to get here I regret.-


John Jessop/ Trent
-So there was a day once upon a time that someone was motivated to hire assassins to murder beloved good guy of the Realms, Trent. Why anyone would want to see harm done to this kindly paragon of goodness, I can't say, however it did indeed happen.

There we were in the lands of Folkstone late one night when Trent was accosted on the road, not far from a gathering of his allies. At that point, yelling "Dead" very loudly was a thing that many people would have done in that situation, but it would have been the wrong thing to do so I quietly whispered "dead" and was scalped in short time by my assailants.

The next morning, or more likely afternoon, Trent's friends realized he was missing and found his body, scalp gone. Then I got to play Duke Devlin's Netherform Buttercupp while I got an inside look at my friends' detective skills. Let's just say the skills were pretty lacking, and I had many a chuckle as they walked by, and overlooked clues, and were talked in circles by people who may or may not have the perpetrators, and who may or may not have been covering for said perpetrators.

The whole time, I remained silent. Sometimes laughing, sometimes furious, most of the time thinking that Trent needed more competent friends. But I couldn't fault the effort level. "Trent" was eventually brought back to life, by way of Divine Intervention to the Kal en Dral. Trent's scalp was written of as unrecoverable and the Kal fashioned him a brand new one.

So the next morning, I decided that I would play Trent as a blank slate, as someone who could do basic things like walk and tie his own shoes, but didn't know who anyone was. As luck would have it, the first people I would run into were some people who may or may not have had anything to do with Trent's assassination. Trent struck up a conversation that was going quite well before Trent's old friend Nero "saw" this and dragged Trent away.

"I think those are the people who killed you" Nero told Trent as he was leading him away. "No way" Trent exclaimed in disbelief "they seem like good people." I then spent the rest of that event taking almost everything being said as 100% literal, as friends, enemies, and frenemies alike tried to mold Trent in the ways they wanted.

Seeing this happening, Vlad of Rathkeale called upon divine magic to fill Trent's mind with everyone's memories of him. So then I had to play Trent by figuring out what everyone's perceptions of him were. Trent became much more of a villain that day then he was previously.-

-So, to focus on the IC/OOC separation. I could have alerted my friends to the assassination at the beginning, as "die loudly" was a very accepted thing in those days. I then had to keep my mouth shut while my friends completely botched the investigation because obviously Buttercupp had no idea what happened. Once I was given a second scalp, I didn't just run off and play Trent like nothing had happened, I then chose to have pleasant conversation with people that Trent did not know killed and scalped him, and then chose to get into some very silly conversations and predicaments due to playing Trent as incredibly naive and very "moldable".

I then had to have some seriously weird conversations with people, and do deep thinking on how I should play Trent moving forward.

All in all, there were plenty of opportunities to take the easy way out, and at that point in the game I doubt anyone would have minded if I had, but I did my best to keep as IC and OOC as separate as humanly possible and was rewarded by having an absolutely great time at the event, and always having a story like this to share whenever anyone wants to talk about the value of keeping IC and OOC stuff seperate.-


Sara Jessop/ Zarine
-I think the most important thing is having an IC personality that is both clearly defined and something playable for you. For the longest time Zarine didn't have much of a one beyond my own OOC personality. It wasn't until I started writing my articles that I really found Zarine's voice, and then I worked out from there how it differed from Sara's. I try and make sure that I am always staying true to what I have presented her as in print. Mostly Zarine is a couple of my personality flaws taken to an extreme so it's fun and moderately easy for me to stick to, and because her personality is somewhat a part of my own I don't need to worry too much about completely separating them. I just keep reminding myself throughout a social interaction what things are different between us so that I don't trip up, and I try to only focus on the things pertinent to that specific interaction. Like for example, if there are kids around I try to remind myself that Zarine likes them where Sara isn't much of a kid person, or if a bunch of people are having silly fun that Sara would enjoy I remind myself that Zarine might look down upon it instead, or if i find myself worried that I might be hurting someone's feeling I try to remember that Zarine wouldn't care about that (but remembering to make sure I check on an OOC level with the other person(s) is something that I need to work on). But really I try not to overthink it because then I find myself not having fun and worrying too much, so my advice to others would be to make sure that you enjoy your characters schtick, making it much easier to want to play it up!-


Emily Murphy/ Kara
- I'm always excited when I get to develop Kara more, like when a lot of the yellow king stuff went down at TOC. I was very excited to explore how Kara would react to the madness call and act it out. My character on the other hand was very anxious about going into something where she knew she wouldn't always completely in control of herself.-


Toryn/ Torren
-Torren and Toryn are very similar people. Kind and thoughtful. Being a Faerie, Torren is curious and sociable, whereas Toryn is not. To play my character effectively, I need to step out of my comfort zone to make the experience more immersive and enjoyable for myself and those I'm playing with.-