Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Small Pleasures Bracket - Round 9

Well, a night of questing with the full moon emerged as the victor. I guess you're all a bunch of lunatics. That completes the first set of matches in our bracket and this is what it looks like so far:

So now we're into the matchups between the first set of winners and we'll start to see some really tough contests. This first one I expect to be a doozie.

Option A: Flush toilets on site.
Option B: There is ample parking adjacent to the feast hall.

As usual, vote and debate on Facebook!

Monday, September 28, 2020

Meme Mondays

 by the Meme Team

Friday, September 25, 2020

Home Questing: Task 18

By Christopher "Janus" Donnelly 

Here is my email address: techiemikey@gmail.com .  If you prefer, you can contact me via facebook messenger, discord, phone or any other manner in which you can actually contact me.


Hi all, Janus here and welcome to Home Questing: The Eighteenth task.

This week’s challenge is a little bit different than previous.  This week’s I am asking you to contact me and schedule a time we can have a small 10 minute conversation or so.  You’ll end up doing your challenge during then.

You have until Friday at noon to contact me, and your time starts now!


Thursday, September 24, 2020

Tao's Dealing School: It's Time to Let It Ride

by James "Tao" Murphy

This is a simple game to pick up but can have a pretty deep strategy.

The player puts a chip on each of 3 spots, they may also play an optional bet called pair plus; more on that later. The dealer shuffles the cards and each player and the dealer receives 3 cards. Without looking the dealer discards one of their cards in some set or random way. The player now needs to make their first choice, if they wish they can pull back there first bet or let it ride. The dealer now exposes their first card. The player now makes their second and final decision of pulling back their second bet. The dealer then exposes the second card and pays out the winning hands.

They way to win in let it ride is for your 3 cards and the dealers 2 cards to make some kind of poker hand. Depending on the casino the payout might be different, but some pretty standard payout are:

  • Pair of tens or better each remaining bet is paid 1:1
  • Any two pair 2:1
  • Three of a kind 3:1
  • Straight 5:1
  • Flush 8:1
  • Full house 11:1
  • Four of a kind 50:1
  • Straight flush and royal flush vary greatly but 100-1000 to 1 on these hands is not uncommon

Any hand that only has a pair of nines or less; including hands with only a high card are considered losing hands.

All these examples are if you bet 1 chip on each spot. Most casinos will let you bet more than 1 chip. Because of the 3-bet structure you do need to have more than 1 gold to play in most casinos.

So you look at your three cards and decided if you want to pull back a bet, the dealer shows up a card, you decide again on your second bet, dealer shows the last card and winners and losers are paid/collected.

There is also an optional side bet called pair plus.

This bet is only based on your original 3 cards.

If your first three cards contain any pair (yes even two’s), 1:1

If your first three cards are all the same suit 4:1

If your first three cards are sequential, (2,3,4 or Q, K A, but not K, A, 2) 6:1

If your first three cards are all the same 25:1 is common

If your first three cards are the Queen, King, and Ace of one suite 40:1 is common

Let’s look at a few examples of hands.
                You start with Jack of spades, Jack of hearts, and the 4 of Clubs. This is guaranteed to be a winning hand as it has a pair of 10’s or better. When the dealer asks you if you want to pull back your bet you would indicate no. They expose a 10 of diamonds and a 5 of hearts. Your hand would be J, J, 10, 5, 4. Each of your three bets would be paid out 1:1 winning 3 gold (1 per bet)

                Same example but let’s say the dealer shows the Jack of diamonds, and the 5 of hearts; your hand would be J, J, J, 5, 4. Each of your bets would be paid 3:1 winning 9 gold (3 per bet)

Now if you had bet the pair plus on either hand you that bet would also pay out 1:1 because your hand had any pair.

Another example would be you start with the 4 of hearts, the 6 of spades and the 7 of clubs. This is a terrible hand. You might look at this hand and definitely pull back on of your first bet. The dealer shows an 8 or hearts. Many players would pull back there second bet. But a small miracle happens, and the dealer shows the 5 of clubs. You have made a straight 4,5,6,7,8. Your remaining bet gets paid 5:1! If for some reason you had left your first and second bet out there, then each bet would have been paid 5:1 (15 gold!) but this is pretty unlikely, and most players would make the more conservative play and pull back the bets. (quick math: less than 5% of the time this will happen)

The strategy of this game comes with looking at your first three cards and deciding if there is enough possibility of a good hand happening to leave your first bet and let it ride. Keep in mind your final payout is based on how many bets you “let-ride” and how many you pulled back.

Another strategy that many people use is to use the pair plus as kind of an insurance bet so that if they get a pair less than 10’s they don’t lose anything. (While the main bet loses, the pair plus bet wins so if the bets were the same amount it’s a push)

This is one of those games where you can quickly pick up the rhythm just by watching a few hands.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Wayback Wednesday

From Thursday September 22, 2011: a post in the "Fighting Chance" series discussing bois, Bedlam, and the Infinite Dark:

From Friday September 21, 2012: an issue of the Grimloch Tribune featuring the Lead Story: E;ven Ghosts or Elven Hoax?

From Friday September 13, 2013: a 10 Questions interview with Jonathan "Trent" Jessop:

From Monday, September 14, 2014: A How-To Guide on leather mask making by Casey:

From September 14, 2015: part 2 of a three-part series by Gerry Chartier - "Sorcery 101 - Thoughts of a Journeyman Caster."

From Tuesday September 27, 2016: a hard-hitting "I Can't Even" column on the controversial topic of pumpkin spice:

From Friday September 1, 2017: "international Realms Traveler," Rawlin's bardic from that year's QoH Tournaments:

From Thursday, September 18 2018: an interesting piece detailing the making of the Grey Lady costume, a living statue NPC for FolkeWood Questing:

From Tuesday September 24, 2019: the "O'Er the Lands of the Realms" map series highlights the nation of Voraniss:

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Small Pleasures Bracket - Round 8

Wow we had a really close vote last week! In fact, you could say that the doggo option just won by a nose! (pause for laughter) Anyway, here is the bracket so far:

This next round will likely be another close contest, and it has all to do with questing conditions:

Option A: A full moon resulting in a well-lit night quest
Option B: A day of questing with cleared and well-defined trails.

As usual, vote and discuss on Facebook!

Monday, September 21, 2020

View Special Edition: Results from the Emergency Event Holder's Meeting


On Saturday, about 60% of EHs from 2019 and 2020 met to discuss how to move forward with regards to COVID-19.  The resolutions that we voted on have been posted to RealmsNet under the 'Rules' tab.  You can read them here: https://www.realmsnet.net/emergency_ehc .

There will be a virtual Players' Meeting and Event Holders' Council in the beginning of 2021.  Anyone who threw an event this year or threw an event and attended 6 events in 2019 will be eligible to vote at the EHC.  At these meetings, we will not be passing any gameplay proposals, such as changes to spells, as we have not yet had any events with the 2020 Omnibus.  However, if there are proposals related to safety, community, or anything other than gameplay, those will be acceptable.

Until then, there are to be no legal Realms events or any in-person gatherings advertised on the Realms calendar.  At the EHC, where we have the authority to edit the Omnibus if we feel the need to do so, we will revisit this topic.

I'll let you know when I pick dates for the PM and EHC.  For now, have a happy new year.

Yours in service,

Pi Fisher

Meme Mondays

by the Meme Team

Friday, September 18, 2020

Home Questing Task 16 - Results!

by Christopher "Janus" Donnelly 

Hello, and I hope things are going well for you wherever you may be.  This past week, I challenged people to find a place or object that has changed the most over time due to external forces.  So, let’s get right into it.

First, from DelHemar was this:

As he puts it: “Once part of a person's home, now this wall provides shade for passers by who rest on the bench”

Next from Cressida, is something drastically different:


To quote what she submitted: “This is very different than my usual submission, but wildfires due to external forces (aka climate change because of humans) are a change we cannot afford, and though the example of great change I have submitted is growing back, the damage done to the ecosystem is heartbreaking and most often permanent. As members of the Realms we should all work hard to stay aware of our environmental impact. Most of our events take place in the forests of New England and we would all be devastated if a fire destroyed our favorite questing site. Stay strong, stay green and keeping protecting yourselves, your neighbors and your environment.”

Thirdly is from Laika:

Please be advised, images behind the link may cause severe pain.

And finally, from myself is this hole in the ground:

This is the remains of a small building in the middle of the woods.

So, this was a task about change, so I decided to ask a person who is that external force changing the world for good.  So this week, Laika is our guest judge.  Take it away Laika.

In last place is Janus for his wonderful… hole. I’m not saying he dug this hole himself but he’s fully capable of doing so himself. Without proof that this hole was not caused by outside forces, IE Janus digging the hole and filling it with brush to cover up; I have to shamefully disqualify his submission.

In 3rd 2nd place is Cressida (4 points) for her tragic reminder of how our world changes through man-made means. Climate change is a very real threat, some would argue it's the greatest threat but we all know that the real greatest threat was Bedlam.

In 2nd 1st place (5 points) is DelHemar for his picture of a home that was torn apart and now has been repurposed. This reminds me of all the ravaged cities and villages of the Realms. I do wish there was a story to go with how the home was destroyed and by what force.

In 1st place is Laika for his amazing faestone. When Janus said I could judge he told me I could give first place to whoever I wanted to so I chose myself. 

Thank you Laika...wait a minute!  When did you submit a picture?  And why did you give yourself first place?  One moment...there.  That’s fixed now.

So starting in a joint last place (aka, disqualified place) is Laika and Janus.  Both submissions were late AND submitted by judges.

In 2nd place (4 points) is DelHemar.  Unlike Laika, I view the wall as having changed very little due to outside forces, even though the rest of the house has.

In first place (5 points) is Cressida.  While not lighthearted, the warnings involved are important for everyone to take into account.

So, this week, the scores are both DelHemar and Cressida at 10 points.

And the running total is as such:

Laika en'Naur
Aeston, Areni, and Gwen
Jerrick Jerrickson
Luc-Dubois Coupant
Sagart Hawkshade
Tarun Ul-Sikar
King Alexander Cecil
Kara Nithisdottir

As a reminder, when this ends, there will be prizes available for the top 5 finishers, so anyone can still win a prize!

See you next week!

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Small Pleasures Bracket - Round 7

Well, the Realms continues to vote against any kind of water. I hope everyone is at least throwing their garb in the laundry between events and the aversion to wetness doesn't go that far. But it's hard to vote against a communal fire and the atmosphere that it invites. Here is the bracket so far.

In this next round we're comparing two very different things: I'm curious to see people's preferences.

Option A: NPC grunts who are cracking funny jokes all day.
Option B: A cute doggo on site that enjoys petting and scritches from everyone.

As usual, vote and discuss on Facebook!

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Rumors for September 1020

 [Across the Realms]

The Black Dagger thief has been sighted again after months of laying low.

Witnesses report seeing a black and green tabard and curled horns.


There are rumors coming from those who attended the recent Teng Hua gathering that Orion has caught something called "the Sand Madness".


Some townsfolk in Chimeron claim to have seen a strange creature skulking around alleyways late at night. Descriptions from eye witnesses say it appeared mostly humanoid but held a tail and a large mane, but its face completely missing bearing a feline or lion like skull. 

Reports also say the creature has been spotted lurking near the portal to Gi and pouring sand out of its boot, suspicions are increasing that this creature may have escaped from the Gi portal and the more popular theory accompanying this rumor is that the creature has been sneaking throw away food from merchant stalls

Monday, September 14, 2020

Meme Mondays

by The Meme Team    

Friday, September 11, 2020

Home Questing: The Seventeenth Task

by Christopher "Mikey" Donnelly

Here is the form for you to submit the item that has changed the most over time:

If you would prefer to send something to me directly rather than uploading to youtube or some other video hosting site, please email it to techiemikey@gmail.com.



Hello, and welcome to Home Questing: The SeventeenthTask.  I just came back from Teng Hua so I am going to ask for something that is from them.  I am going to ask you to write a Haiku about yourself or your nation.  The best Haiku wins. You have until next Friday at noon, and your time starts now.


What You Missed - Tales of Teng Hua-ish

by Jason "Malaki" Gray

It was our pleasure to host you all on behalf of the Emperor, and to help impart more knowledge to your people about the land of Teng Hua.

We are not often used to teaching foreigners, and we hope that you found our game format as entertaining as it was educational.

For those of you that were not able to attend, we covered information relating to various provinces of Teng Hua, notable families and the resources they trade in, the Items of Regalia, Yosei, current threats to Teng Hua, and other tidbits of information.

It was our pleasure to find that His Majesty King Alexander Cecil was quite witty and knowledgeable. His Majesty also has our sincerest apologies that someone dared to impersonate him towards the end of the lesson.

In Service,
Ando Jin
Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Thanks to everyone who attended the mini virtual event. We were hoping to provide a couple of hours of light role play entertainment, and provide an opportunity for players to get information without any concern for us being tricksy ;)

The event consisted of several rounds of custom questions in the game Quiplash 2, all related to Teng Hua, with the exception of that pesky third round, but even then, all of our players did a great job keeping answers as IC as they could.

From our perspective, this experiment was pretty successful and something we are likely to try again. Thanks for playing along with our crazy ideas.

ToTH Staff

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Favorite Folkestone Memories

Labor day weekend has always been Folkestone weekend! Though we can't get together this year, we want to mark the passing of the weekend with a special tribute.

Below are some favorite memories from Feast of Folkestone/ Folkestone Questing that were shared by members of the community. As an added fun bonus to this post, see if you can guess which players wrote these! (This was totally planned by the way and not at all the result of my forgetting to put a line on the Google form for IC/ OOC name, nope, not at all...)


"Chimeron's quest in to Jonas Cooke's vault. Specifically the victorious march back and presenting Cecil's crown to him and explaining to him what happened. It's one of my favorite Realms memories, not just Folkestone Questing memories."

"How can a man choose among the stars of the sky?
In no particular order, some are Tao, some are npc, one is even Deadmoon.
The first time Blackwood as a nation marched into the feast hall behind Dark
Taking a ride in a trailer, in the dark, down a bumpy dirt road
Escaping hell, finding Fey, wanting to go back to hell
12 hour castle siege
Realizing one table was not going to be enough space
Breaking the demon line
Getting the crown back
Getting a pie
Leading the charge in a black mask and a red shirt
Fighting on the dock in the middle of the night
Watching shadow ascend
Killing the knot demon
No weapons at the sacrifice
In the lands of the grey man
Elements, first on, then off
Handing the dagger off
Helping a giant fall
Margaritas at dinner (off site)
A field full of grave markers."

"The slide events, hands down."

"One of my favorite memories over the year was definitely a ritual battle that happened during the night quest while every one else was fighting a chaotic fight. It was a chance to interact with enemy NPCs in ways we hadn't before while also directly impacting the rest of the quest in a way I haven't seen since."

"I yelled at a demon that I'd pee on him once."

"I always loved when there was an intense bidding war in the auction over something great like armor or a potential magic item."

"Out of the dozens I have as both staff and a player, I will try to choose only two.
Jarrod in a coconut bra!
Running with Shalindra dead in to the Blade Nightclub without her getting her regional clue because, us being us, we assumed we were in Mortal Combat world. Nope, we ran right in to the feeding den of the vamps.
Opening my big mouth and letting my soul be bound to another quite by accident. I should have waited to hear about the consequences.
Telling fortunes to players and becoming an accidental Plot Hook as Sharti the Voodoo Priestess.
Dropping the curtain to reveal the Grey Lady."

"Grabbing a Death bunny tail 😁"

"We were in the field and I think we were on "rocks" and I can't remember why or how we got off. However, I do remember that it was about 80° and I had Nos and Rubis near me. Nos called me over....I hopped the "rocks" I think and him and Rubis convinced me to "take one for the team" and before I knew it, I got a pie to the face for a spell reset. All I know is that a whipped cream pie all over you in 80° heat is sticky and smelly. I was never so happy to take a shower then that day."

"Um, giant bowl of chocolate trifle, obviously."

"The side quest Eagle's Rook was taken on to the Plane of Shadow as part of Shadowking plot will always be one of my favorite Realms memories."

"I’ve told this story a bunch of times, but this is a good excuse to tell it again. I can only assume it was at a Folkestone Questing.

It was probably my first year in the game. We were fighting in the castle and trying to break through the wall (the back door) to escape, it needed like a few hundred hits to smash through. Before long there came a call for hammers to help break it.

Now it just so happened that I had my hammer. If you haven’t seen this thing, ask me about it. So I hear this call for hammers and decide I’ll go help. I lift it into the air and start wading through everyone. There’s laughing and cheering as I make my way to the back. I have no idea how much damage they had done before I got there, but I took a swing and the wall “shattered away”. It was very exciting as a new player and probably one of my favorite memories of the game overall."

"Sitting around after the night quest and going on smores quest with my friends."

"I have a tie, for playing as Saka:

1) Accompanying Sir Wil to scout the woods for torches that needed to be either protected or put out. I honestly can't remember which we were doing. I was a fairly new player still and didn't know the Folkestone site yet. The forest paths were dark and threatening, the weather was great, and Sir Wil was (and still is) Sir Wil. Getting to tag along with him for the mission felt like a privilege, and I enjoyed getting his tour of how all the forest paths interconnected with various landmarks.

2) Being on the team to infiltrate Jonas Cooke's vault and retrieve the Crown. It was a difficult quest, the NPCs and staff were excellent, and much of what my fellow players pulled off would probably feature in their highlight reel of Realms questing accomplishments if that was a thing we had. It was exhausting, energizing, and a ton of fun."

"When I married Jonas Cooke. I had a lot of fun in that plot and that whole weekend was full of ups and downs but overall fantastic!"

"The 'Slip Sliding Away' years were my favorites. Specifically when we ended up in television land with all the different genres. The sports one where we had jugging was amazingly fun, even if I didn't get to participate and was just my team's magic item caddy. Watching my friends have a blast out there was awesome!"

"When Zula threw his shield at my while playing a Captain America NPC."

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Small Pleasures Bracket - Round 6

Well, Round 5 wasn't much of a contest. You would think our community is made of members who all melt in the rain. I will say that's the most united I've seen the Realms in 20ish years. Here's how the bracket stands so far:

This week's vote also involves getting wet, so we'll see how that goes:

Option A: A place to swim and cool off on a hot summer eventing day.
Option B: A communal campfire on an evening with a slight chill.

As always, vote and discuss on Facebook!

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Meme... Tuesday

by the Meme Team

Monday, September 7, 2020

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day to all of our loyal readers! The View will be back with our normal weekday content tomorrow. Enjoy your day!

Friday, September 4, 2020

Why I Want to Go: Tales of Teng Hua-ish

By Stephen “Laika” Sanford

In what some consider the longest “winter” of the Realms, the community has come together in many ways to protect ourselves and our loved ones. While there haven't been physical Realms events for 6 months now; that hasn’t stopped some plot’s staff from throwing content. Instead of physically, they have opted to host events virtually through many platforms and styles.

Teng Hua's staff has already thrown one great virtual event his year, Tales of Teng Hua 2.1. That event was a fun filled 4 hours of culture classes, arts and crafts, and lore. The event ended with the Emperor’s daughter, Kuko, falling ill due to a curse. Overall it was a great virtual event and set the bar for me what virtual events should strive for.

This new event will be a 2 hour social party game like Jack box party games but with a Teng Hua spin on it. Jack Box style games are generally social party games filled with trivia and humor. The event will run this Sunday (Sunday!) (Sunday!) (is there an echo in here?) from 4pm-6pm EST on their Discord server. I look forward to seeing all of you there, I miss all of you and it should be a good time filled with laughs and roleplaying.

For those who want to brush up on Teng Hua for the upcoming event or a review of the last virtual event you can read my “What you missed” article here: https://viewfromvalehaven.blogspot.com/2020/04/what-you-missed-tales-of-teng-hua-21.html). Or you can go in blind, I’m not your parent. 

I will now end this article in a fashion befitting Teng Hua, via Haiku.

Tales of Teng Hua-ish

Four P.M to Six P.M

See you there Sunday

Home Questing: the Fifteenth Task - Results!

Hi everyone.  This week I asked you for the best slogan for the war against the Risen Kingdom.  And we got some great submissions.

First, from Orion we received this:

Lift Up the Risen People, Strike Down the Fallen King

Then from DelHemar we got:

They came through our dreams,  we've become their nightmare.

Our penultimate submission from Cressida was:

And last, but most certainly least is Janus’ submission.

They may have risen, but we will ensure they will fall.

With all of these slogans, and within the context of an inter-planar war, there was one person I went to with experience on this: Rosetta.  Take it away.

Orion made a slogan that I could hear in a song. It would also make a very good call-and-response. 5/5, would follow into battle.

DelHemar boosts our esteem while at the same time encoding key information about the enemy, so that even someone who joins the battle in the middle has enough context to start asking questions to learn more. 5/5, inspiring and educational.

Cressida uses a pun on a key spell and I can easily hear it in my head being shouted before leading a charge, but it could also be said quietly, bolstering someone where it would not be appropriate to yell. 5/5, it reminds us why we're there.

Janus... You can't just take the slogan we were using, go back in time and erase it from the timeline, then throw out this challenge and expect to win using it! Disqualified. Does turn their own name against them nicely, though, doesn't it?

Oops, I seem to have neglected to provide a ranking. Well, and this clearly is not arbitrary at all, I would rank Orion's first (5 points), DelHemar's second (4 points), and Cressida's third (3 points). But really, 5/5s all around.

Thanks Rosetta.  And now for my review:

In third place (3 points), I would put Orion.  It is a solid slogan, with a good pun about rising and falling, but personally to me did go quite as far as the other two.

In second place (4 points), I would put DelHemar.  It’s a great play of words with our dreams and their nightmares.

In first place (5 points),  I would put Cressida.  The use of imagery along with a reference to combat raise dead and referencing the true conflict going on.

Finally, Rosetta caught on to Janus’s ruse, thus he is disqualified.

So, after including the points for participation, that leaves us at 9 points each for Orion, DelHemar and Cressida.

See you all next week!

Thursday, September 3, 2020

View Special Edition: Agenda Update for Upcoming Emergency Meetings

(The following message was sent to the Realms OOC email list yesterday. It has been reposted here with permission from its author.)


On September 19th, there will be an emergency EH meeting.  A week prior to that, on September 12th, there will be an unofficial meeting to give players a chance to express their thoughts on the topics.  A second discussion topic has been added to the emergency EH meeting.  The agenda will now be:

* How to react to the serious issue of the number of legal events that are likely to be thrown for the calendar year 2020

* Whether we should institute any game-wide rules for events during the pandemic, such as mandatory masks or even not allowing in-person events

There are more details for the event available on RealmsNet.  Also, if you have further questions, please feel free to contact me.

Yours in service,

Pi Fisher

Favorite Folkestone Memory!

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Cross the Realms 3

If this is not displaying properly in-browser or your mobile browser is having an issue, click here!

Hello everyone! Below is a classic crossword puzzle where all answers are Knights in our game. Some are newer knights, some are knights that have been around a long time, some are knights who retired years ago. Every clue is that knight's name scrambled.

See how many you can answer before you have to start looking things up... or using an automatic descrambler tool found on Google.

Tell us how you did in the Facebook comments!

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Small Pleasures Bracket - Round 5

Based on the results of Round 4 we can safely conclude that Realmsies care more for their pocketbooks than their spellbooks, but such is the way of medieval-stage capitalism, I suppose. Here's the bracket so far:

This next vote is sure to be an interesting one. It's a bit more environmental in nature.

Option A: There is no rain for the entire event.
Option B: The night quest both starts and ends relatively on time.

Vote on Facebook with your choice!

Monday, August 31, 2020

Meme Mondays

by the Meme Team

Friday, August 28, 2020

Home Questing: Task 16

by Christopher "Janus" Donnelly

Here is the form for you to submit the item that has changed the most over time:

If you would prefer to send something to me directly rather than uploading to youtube or some other video hosting site, please email it to techiemikey@gmail.com.



Hi all, Janus here, and welcome to Home Questing: The Sixteenth Task.  This week I am going to ask you to find a place or object that has changed the most over time due to external forces.  You have until Friday at noon, and your time starts now.


Thursday, August 27, 2020

Why I Want To Go: A Questing We Will Gi

By Ryan "Orion" Welch

I have been watching my friends in RTC work their collective butts off to create A Questing We Will Gi. I know that they are using the same framework as RealmsCraft Questing, and I am really looking forward to being on the player side of those mechanics for once!

The Risen Kingdom plot has been very compelling over the past few years, and this newest phase promises to be particularly interesting as we explore the ruined world of Gi and the sociopolitical landscape of its inhabitants. The last time we went to this place at an event, the staff did a terribly good (and I really do mean terrible — I’m looking at you, mango candy) of creating an immersive atmosphere. I can’t wait to see what they are capable of accomplishing with the worldbuilding tools of Minecraft at their disposal.

If you haven’t already yet registered, you should fill out the registration at http://reg.rtc.fyi/. If you are interested in playing but don’t already own Minecraft, there are a couple of loaner accounts which you can borrow for questing.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Does Jonas Cooke Still Matter?

I wrote this in 2017 but never finished. Thanks to Dave Hayden for looking at the final draft. 

by Michel "Jace" Venne

Does Jonas Cooke still matter? 

I have been away from the United States for almost 5 years (Or more, I am not keeping track, you are) and I have been meeting different people from across the globe. Occasionally I tell stories about this cool thing called LARP or roleplay. Sometimes I have to explain in detail what these experiences are like. Yet why when I think back to my short-ish time in the Realms to tell my stories, I think back to the villains that defined the conflicts which were inevitably encountered during quests.

During my time in the Realms, there were only a few great overall antagonists which my player character Squire Jace Moonshadow of Eagle’s Rook, had the (dis)pleasure of interacting with. In order of my initial encounters; first was the Shadowking Jonas Cook and his Shades, second was the immeasurable force of Bedlam, third are the Metal Lords of Grimloch, fourth are the Forces of Hell, after which there are a smattering of other monster-of-the-week baddies. Also let's not forget Lord Voldemort :). Of these big baddies mentioned, the only two villains which were relevant during my time in Realms was with Jonas Cooke and Bedlam. Both quest lines were at their respective penultimate moments and I got to experience both of them during my first event, Feast of Chimeron 2013.

With regards to Bedlam, I received, what I would kindly call, an information overload for the two days of the event that followed. Details about Bedlam’s vast and storied past which frankly still does not make 100% sense to me to this day but was impressive nonetheless. It was all everyone was talking about both positive and negative. I never really had a passion for this quest line though because my personal investment, both as a player and a PC, was in support of my new friends and allies and not the actual threat itself. There was no time where I felt personally attacked by Bedlam because it was consuming everything, irrespective of who or what it was.

So that leaves Jonas Cook. Why then does some dude stick in my mind more than Metal Lords, Voldemort, Forces of Hell, or even Bedlam? The short answer is that I had more space to think critically about how Jonas Cooke the villain affects me personally as a PC and a player.

Back in 2014 I wrote a small op-ed on Jonas Cooke (which you can find here). In it, I lay out what kind of character Jonas Cooke is portrayed as, how well-developed as a PC and NPC the character is, and how many players/PC’s can fall into similar traps of insecurities and laziness. Here I want to focus more on the questline, also better known as Shades Plot, which gave the depth to the character.

From my own Shades Plot experiences, I attended Feast of Chimeron 2013, Folkestone Questing 2013 and 2014, plus I NPC’ed for an unofficial event as a roaming Shade Squad. I partied up with Eagle’s Rook during Feast of Chimeron 2013 with the intention of just having a fun time when I came to realize that Eagle’s Rook and Blackwood were at war with Jonas Cooke. Eagle’s Rook had declared the war against Jonas Cooke due to a mind scalping attack on Balthazar at Fern’s Grove. So, while I was absolutely frontloaded with a conflict already in play, there were online resources which were easily accessible to learn and stay up-to-date on the major plot points (linked here). There was also a community-driven excel sheet for Vene Potions and their composition which was a very fun activity to do in our spare time at events. So even when you were not playing Shades Plot, you could still play Shades Plot in an interactive and critical manner.

 During Folkstone Questing 2013, Eagle’s Rook and friends (TV show pending) were tasked with raiding the Shadow Realm to retrieve the secret to Jonas Cooke’s ability to bind himself to Shades, making him essentially unkillable. The challenge to retrieve this document was great and we succeeded to return in time for the Siege of Blackwood. During the downtime, I initially though that Jonas Cooke, whom everyone was calling the Shadow King at this point in the questline, was similar to Bedlam and was just an ‘unstoppable force.’ In between the retrieval mission and the Siege of Blackwood, I had enough time to understand why this was all happening and that the Shadowking had a name, family and even some friends. Yet he had done all these terrible things to gain power.

The threats that made this plotline personal, even if you were not invested in Jonas Cooke’s story, were used as a way to remind us that Jonas Cooke was not a ‘clown’ pretending he has power. In fact, his action affected real change. Shadowblight and mind scalping were two ways that ensured the phrases “Shades” or “Shadowking” evoked a real threat to you or someone affected by above mentioned afflictions. Mind scalping was essentially a brutal invasion of privacy and personal space by stealing your memories while Shadowblight was an illness of the soul which must be spread to prevent your death. These two mechanics created personal narratives which encourages player engagement. You were also left wondering, “Why on earth would a normal human do these things?” It feels so much more personal since the leading figure behind these attacks to the PC’s physical and mental well-being was one of us PC’s (a point which I raised in my last article).

All of the points about Shades Plot allowed for many different types of engagement across the board which supported a number of playstyles. I also critically thought about how to best use my knowledge and skills and apply them in real-time to help my friends and colleagues excel at what they were good at. I was able to, in my capacity as a fresh newbie, hold a wall of a Blackwood castle to allow the more skilled players to defend the weaker gates or prepare Vene potions in my spare time. As I gained more knowledge and skill, I was eventually able to not only follow instructions but also serve as a leader when needed during the last Shades event. Many of the things which Jonas Cooke wanted to be recognized for through no work, I achieved through my own hard work. Hell Yeah.

So why does Jonas Cooke still matter? It is because the villain, the quest line, the challenges that we were faced with encouraged engagement at all levels with a villain who had an origin story like the rest of us PC’s. Now that we are all stuck inside, now is an excellent opportunity to reflect on the challenges and trials you or your PC have faced to understand why these events have left such an impact on you.  You might be surprised at what you find!

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Small Pleasures Bracket - Round 4

Whereas the previous week Realmsies chose their stomachs over their feet, it seems that last week the bulk of you chose your feet over your stomachs. Maybe we're just all getting older and want to walk less. No, that's definitely it. Here's what the bracket looks like now.

This next contest is a little different: It's about what small pleasure you'd prefer on a day of questing!

Option A: Numerous convenient spell resets.
Option B: Ample coinage on all of the monsters.

Vote on Facebook with your choice!

Monday, August 24, 2020

Meme Mondays

by the Meme Team

Friday, August 21, 2020

Home Questing: The 14th Task - Results!

by Christopher "Janus" Donnelly 

Hello, and welcome to the 14th edition of Home Questing.  I challenge people to try and attract an Yosei Arborisuto.  Let’s see what people did.

From Cressida was this:

From Del’Hemar submitted the following:

I planned three seeds.  One in the forest near my local nature trail, (no photo) one beside the trail with the benediction "child of the fruit bearer, grow strong beside this trail,  bring shade to the traveler and respite to the weary. Grow tall and bear fruit for the travelers,  and when you're ready,  join me in in my fight and bring peace to my friends."

The third seed i planted in a planter to transplant if/ when it grows.  With the benediction "little cherry seed,  fruit bearing brother,  grow strong in my sight. I keep you close so I may watch over and protect you.  Grow tall,  and bear fruit,  and when you're ready,  join us in our struggles."

Jerrick Jerrickson had his own approach:
A Jerrickson born,
A new apple tree planted.
To grow through their life.

It heralds the life,
A forest of family
Together always

And death follows life
I know where I'll be buried
An orchard graveyard

Apple trees bare fruit
That loved ones can still enjoy
And feel family

So I plant this tree
And when your ready, welcome,

And finally from myself came this:

Earlier I mentioned that there wasn’t going to be a normal judging this week, and that is still the case.  For this week, the doing is more important than the being.  But, everyone who has participated this week shall earn 10 points.  In addition, I feel those who participated may be getting a small visitor in the near future.

Oh, and for those wondering about the current scores:

Laika en'Naur
Aeston, Areni, and Gwen
Jerrick Jerrickson
Luc-Dubois Coupant
Sagart Hawkshade
Tarun Ul-Sikar
King Alexander Cecil
Kara Nithisdottir

See you next week!