Thursday, April 30, 2020

Boff Brawl - Round 13

The winner of Boff Brawl Round 12 was: Janus with Garnet!

Winners so far:
Round 1: Avendar with Lion-o
Round 2: Freija with Aang
Round 3: Raynor with Finn
Round 4: Kindrianna with Leonardo
Round 5: Kovaks with She-ra
Round 6: Tao with Samurai Jack
Round 7: Saegan with Korra
Round 8: Kyro with Skeletor
Round 9: Saka with Kora
Round 10: Malaki with Aang
Round 11: Radstar with Skeletor
Round 12: Janus with Garnet

Now for Round 13!


Player 1 - Razmuth. Character, Garnet.
Strategy: Where she lacks in long range, she far and away makes up for in close range combat. She has incredible speed, strength, durability, and reaction speed (due to her ability to predict the future). I would have her use her speed and precognition to close the gap and swiftly dispatch her opposition, even if her opponent can attempt to fly away she can shape shift into something that can fly in order to give chase.

Player 2 - Grey. Character, Zuko.
Strategy: I like the cut of that young man's jib. I tell him to be thoughtfully aggressive. Use a mix of his kung fu and fire powers.

Player 3 - Mathies. Character, Skeletor.
Strategy: My fight strategy would be to have him use his magical abilities to summon magical constructs to engage hand to hand combat. I would then tell him to use the Havoc Staff to unleash balls of magical energy. Also any creatures sent against him, he would use magic to transmute them into harmless woodland creatures

Player 4 - Elizah. Character, She-ra.
Strategy: I would choose She-Ra. According to what I discovered about her, she has "super-human strength, enhanced speed & reflexes, and near-invulnerability." She can communicate with animals telepathically!? I mean, who wouldn't want that?  She also has the ability to heal injuries?? Sounds useful to me.  Lastly, she can even transform her chief weapon, "The Sword of Protection," into other weapons, which we can choose based off of her competitors.    
What would my strategy be? She would probably have Swift-Wind on stand by as flying may come in handy. Other than that since The sword of protection is her primary means of attack and defense, I would tell her to just go for it attempting to close any distance between herself and her opponent as she would only have her sword. She would adapt the sword to whatever would be needed in that specific time. If at any point she was overwhelmed she would call in Swift-Wind, fly off, heal and return to the battle.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Boff Brawl - Round 12

The winner of Boff Brawl Round 11 was: Radstar with Skeletor!

Winners so far:
Round 1: Avendar with Lion-o
Round 2: Freija with Aang
Round 3: Raynor with Finn
Round 4: Kindrianna with Leonardo
Round 5: Kovaks with She-ra
Round 6: Tao with Samurai Jack
Round 7: Saegan with Korra
Round 8: Kyro with Skeletor
Round 9: Saka with Kora
Round 10: Malaki with Aang
Round 11: Radstar with Skeletor

Now it's time for Round 12!


Player 1 - Umbra. Character, Shredder.
Strategy: I’d tell him to use the plastic straws!

Player 2 - Grindin. Character, Jake.
Strategy: Oh, I'd pick Jake fo' sho'. Turn into a giant hammer and smash smash smash. If anyone used a sword he would nimbly avoid it with his shape shifting powers.

Player 3 - Janus. Character, Garnet.
Strategy: Use time magic... um... I mean... Future Vision. It's hard to lose when you know all the moves an opponent is going to make.

Player 4 - Tirvanel. Character, Zuko.
Strategy: I'd probably pick Zuko due to knowing him, and I'd tell him to play it safe and let others pick each other off.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Meme Mondays

by the Meme Team



Friday, April 24, 2020

Home Questing: Task 5!

By Christopher "Janus" Donnelly




Here is the form to submit you wearing your hat: https://forms.gle/1mgjHn9ovzM5nxHq5

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

For the horror writing contest (for which, you can still earn 5 bonus points for entering), the link is available HERE. The deadline for that is May 1st, and I’ll give the bonus points after the competition is complete.


******************************************

[Transcript]

Hello, Janus here and this is Home Questing.
Last week we received a large number of jokes and a few terrible, terrible puns. Thank you for all of the submissions.

This week for task five, we are going in a different direction.  This week we are asking you to make a hat out of non-conventional materials, and then wear it.  The fanciest hat will win.  The deadline is Tuesday at noon, and your time starts now.

In addition, we’d like to remind you that on May 1st the deadline ends for the bonus five points by entering into the horror writing contest.  I hope to see you on the field soon.

******************************************

Home Questing Task 4: Results

By Christopher "Janus" Donnelly


Hello and for the fourth time a guest judge and I shall be judging the work submitted by various members of the realms.  This week’s challenge was simple: to tell the funniest joke in whichever medium they chose.  So, in order of submission, here we go:


From DelHemar comes a joke that is to die for:

Three young adventurers die on a quest, as they stand before the reaper the first adventurer waves his hand in mystical symbols, chanting under his breath before shouting “resist death!” and vanishes. A moment later he reappears with claw marks on his chest, shrugs and says “So... it turns out the beast wasn't done with me yet. Any chance you're up for the old play a game for our lives bit?”

Death thinks about this, and says “Sure we'll play for your lives.” He pulls out two sets of dice and says “Here's the game, I'll roll first, if you roll higher than me you live for as many years as you rolled, if you roll lower than me, I send you to hell for however many years I rolled.” 

So the first adventurer steps forward, death rolls his dice and gets a 7. The adventurer rolls his dice and gets a 4, and is instantly consumed in fire as his soul is sent to hell.

The second adventurer steps up, death rolls a 9, the adventurer rolls a 3, and the adventurer vanishes in a flash of fire as his soul is sent to hell.

Death turns to the third adventurer and rolls his dice, the result is a 12, but before he can do anything the third adventurer throws his arms around deaths neck and gives him the biggest warmest bear hug he can muster.

Death is stunned, he pats the adventurer on the back awkwardly and says “That's, not the usual response to finding out you've just been condemned to 12 years in hell. What's the deal?”

The adventurer, without letting go, says “They've told me for years, when you Embrace Death you play a different game."


From Laika en'Naur comes a divine one-liner:

When naming the Auroran holy city of Ivory they missed a golden opportunity to name it "Luminocity".


From Orion, comes a joke those familiar with Black and White may particularly enjoy:

Why was everyone so serious at Black and White this year? Well, ever since Cecil outlawed that green drink, there hasn't been a punch line.


Coming from Cressida is the way to deal with a bandit:



From Vawn (yes..that Vawn) is an entry from the Vawn Archives:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cY0U7c6rrmPzE93MyDldXCHmSGbehpNe/view


Also, finally, here is my own (It won’t be ranked because we have enough entries, I just wanted to share it)

A farmer woke up one day to find that his sheep had just given birth, but the baby ewe seemed to be very sick.  It would only lie there and bleat really loudly. After half a day, the baby sheep’s noise was starting to get on the farmer’s nerves, so he sought the local shaman for advice.  After a short hike, the farmer reached the shaman’s hut, and asked her about how to deal with the sheep.  The shaman did a small ritual in front of him, and determined the sheep would get better on it’s own in two days time, but if the noise was unbearable, all he had to do was place the sheep on the farmer’s mattress, and keep it there until the ewe was feeling better.  The farmer went home and placed the new-born sheep in the bed, and miraculously the bleating stopped.  The farmer, thrilled. ran back to the shaman to ask how this magic worked. The shaman looked at him and matter of factly responded “Well, it’s commonly known that that no sound can be made from in bed lamb.”


These entries really helped boost my mood for the week, and judging them will be really tough.  So, to keep things fair, I will bring in Temorse to help judge the task.

So, let’s take a look at Temorse’s rankings:

Hello entrants and readers.  I will be your guest judge this week, no doubt selected for my discerning eye for detail and ability to enhance all the jokes by explaining them to the general public.  After reviewing these jokes carefully and in great detail I’ve assessed and weighted their humor, here are the results:

In 5th place (1 point) Laika
For Laika’s joke we have what I would consider a noble effort, but this pun lands as heavy handed as one of Sir PJ’s headshots.  I was told that I was able to consider bonus points, but when I inquired about those bonus points being negative, I was told it was against the rules, even given the heinous crime that is this pun.  Laika’s has clear talent in the art of adventuring, and I would suggest, kindly, that he consider sticking to that strength.

In 4th place (2 point) is Orion
From Orion we have a topical joke which starts out with promise.  While the great Green Drink controversy wasn’t as widespread as the Great Cranberry Sauce controversy or spoke to me as personally as the Great Crabbie controversy.  It does however end in a pun, for which there can be little mercy, despite it’s promising topical start.  It is said that comedy is tragedy plus time, so check back in a few years and perhaps I will have changed my mind.

In 3rd place (3 point) is Cressida
For Cressida’s joke we have a more interesting medium with which the joke is delivered.  Here we have another satirical comment on an issue that is near and dear to the everyday life of the common folk, certainly not something that true nobles like myself ever have to deal with.  While I wasn’t able to personally relate to this humar, given my station as a non-peasant, I still found it humorous and greatly enjoyed the way in which it was conveyed.

In 2nd place (4 point) is DelHemar
For DelHemar’s joke we start with the very real premise of newer adventurers being slain, and trying to deal with death.  While the joke establishes some humor with the first adventurers attempt at using Resist Death, the second adventurers fate is slightly less interesting, only attempting to play Death’s game.  However the crescendo of the joke ends with satirical comedy about one of the most powerful spells in the game by necromancers (especially the evil ones).  This jokes gets high marks for its social commentary on the state of magic as well as its originality

In 1st place (5 point) is Vawn with 2  bonus points for Jace
Finally we have Vawn’s entry from the Eagle’s Rook Archive.  This was the most interesting medium of all the jokes, and seemed to have several aspects of humor within.  While to the comedic layman the joke in this entry may appear to be tomato based, while really is just the set up to suggest that Vawn ever had a sense of humor, even before ascending to avatar-hood.  Finally, I cannot quite place it, but I have a very “Emerald Dream-y” feeling that Jace making Venne potions is actually very suggestive.


Now, for my own top 5:

In 5th place (1 point) is Orion’s joke about Back and white.  It’s a nice variation on the no punch line joke, but I feel it’s a bit too soon, as I was really worried about not having poison this year at Black & White.

In 4th place (2 points) is  Laika en'Naur’s joke about Aurora.  It’s an absolutely fabulous pun.

In 3rd place (3 points) is Cressida’s joke about bandits.  Having been lured into this trap before, I really have enjoyed it.

In 2nd place (4 points) is Vawn’s joke about the tomatoes.  While I have heard the joke before, the pacing of the joke along with the visuals worked perfectly.

In 1st place (5 points) is DelHemar’s entry about embrace death.  It’s a new and unique joke that had a great punchline.


So, let’s look at the combined scores for the week (including the one point for submission):

DelHemar and Vawn both came in at 10 points.
Cressida rang in at 7 points.
Orion and Laika scored a total of 4 points.
Jace is bringing up the rear of the pack without a submission at 2 bonus points.


And where does that leave the final scores?  Let’s take a look:

DelHemar: 36.5 points.
Cressida: 21 points.
Aeston, Areni, and Gwen: 18.5 points.
Bart: 11 points
Iawen: 11 points
Saka: 10 points
Vawn: 10 points
Kwido: 6 points
Tarun Ul-Sikar:  5 points
Vanduke: 4 points
Laika en'Naur: 4 points
Orion: 4 points
King Alexander Cecil: 2.5 points
Jace: 2 points
Kara Nithisdottir: 1.5 points
Thoril: 1.5 points


Tune in later today for the next task!

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Boff Brawl - Round 11

The winner of Boff Brawl Round 10 was: Malaki with Aang!

Winners so far:
Round 1: Avendar with Lion-o
Round 2: Freija with Aang
Round 3: Raynor with Finn
Round 4: Kindrianna with Leonardo
Round 5: Kovaks with She-ra
Round 6: Tao with Samurai Jack
Round 7: Saegan with Korra
Round 8: Kyro with Skeletor
Round 9: Saka with Kora
Round 10: Malaki with Aang

Now it's time for Round 11!


Player 1 - Kyara. Character, She-ra.
Strategy: I'd pick She-ra because she transforms into a seven-foot, shredded, agility ridden beast who can use magic to make her sword do whatever she needs. Also she can use magic to make sheilds.

Player 2 - Zattara. Character, Demona.
Strategy: I'd remind her to use her wings. Fly until the rest fight each other and weaken themselves.

Player 3 - Radstar. Character, Skeletor.
Strategy: Skeletor would be my pick. We’re both kinda evil and both have spells and yet never seem to win.

Player 4 - Syruss. Character, Aang.
Strategy: It's hard not to pick Aang and rely on the Avatar Form with the combination of the years of experience in combat from past Avatars.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

5-Minute Encounter Builder


Writing encounters can be hard. Over my years of experience I’ve broken down encounters into two basic components, and subcategories beneath that. From there I construct my encounters efficiently and to the goals of my plot.The goal of this article is to break down that process so that the community at large may apply it to their own encounter creating processes.

First the two basic components to every encounter are flavor and mechanics.

Flavor is the story of the encounter. It’s the skin. The components that let it fit into our fantasy world. The flavor is the fact that the NPCs are goblins, or that your players are wandering into a dark cave. The flavor matters for the story, it matters for consistency within your content, and it matters in the sense that your players wouldn’t feel satisfied that they were playing in a fantasy world without it. Flavor creates immersion.

In the same way that Flavor creates immersion, mechanics make it a game. Mechanics are the actions that players need to complete in order to be successful in the encounter. It’s the win lose conditions. It’s the rules that make the scene turn. They might be as simple as “win the fight” or “solve the puzzle” or they might be a more complicated series of actions that come together to form one greater action. But the mechanics make the encounter a game for the players to play.

Flavor can be broken down into three interrelated components. The setting, the cast, and the dramatic question. The setting simply put is where the encounter takes place in terms of the story. The cast is just what the NPCs are made up of. Generally, they cast and the setting should match up. For example, it might make sense to find Goblins in the woods. The dramatic question, is the motive the players have within the story, that makes them want use the mechanics to push the plot forward. For example, if the cast and the setting don’t match up, like say the setting is under water, and the cast is still Goblins, your question might be: Why the heck are goblins surviving underwater?

Mechanics on the other hand can be broken down by type of mechanic and win/ lose condition. By type of mechanic I mean the type of encounter. Usually I break down my mechanical encounters by the terms: Combat encounter, Physical Challenge, Role Play Encounter, and Puzzle/Craft encounter. Personally when I run a quest, I try to intermingle the types of encounters I have so that my players can all enjoy themselves for the various reasons they like to play.

Now that you have a break down on encounters why don’t you try breaking down some of your favorite movie scenes? What’s the setting? Who are the NPCs? What’s the dramatic question? What type of encounter is it? What are the win and loss conditions?

Having trouble thinking of some scenes to break down? How about Indiana Jones’ famous escape from the Temple of Doom? Harry Potter’s Wizard Chess Scene? Goonies’ Skeleton Organ Scene?

Once you’ve answered the questions, trying reskinning the scenes to fit your plot. How might that Indiana Jones’ scene look with Bois, for example?

Give your favorite creations in the comments!

I’ll see you on the field,

Keith “Saegan” Cronyn


Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Boff Brawl - Round 10

The winner of Boff Brawl Round 9 was: Saka with Korra!

Winners so far:
Round 1: Avendar with Lion-o
Round 2: Freija with Aang
Round 3: Raynor with Finn
Round 4: Kindrianna with Leonardo
Round 5: Kovaks with She-ra
Round 6: Tao with Samurai Jack
Round 7: Saegan with Korra
Round 8: Kyro with Skeletor
Round 9: Saka with Kora

Now for Round 10!


Player 1 - Jean Bapbeast. Character, Jake.
Strategy: I'll tell him to use his shapeshifting to take advantage of his misleading hitboxes.

Player 2 - Malaki. Character, Aang.
Strategy: Obviously I'll chose Aang cause he's the master of all 4 elements. I'd definitely use his bender ability to full advantage with some cheeky tricks.

Player 3 - Elouan. Character, Amethyst.
Strategy: I would have her focus on offense, either exploiting enemy's weaknesses or creating openings for allies.

Player 4 - Shean. Character, Lion-o.
Strategy: I'd have him fight with the Sword of Omens and claws and have the Thundercats back him up with their specialties.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Meme Mondays

by the Meme Team


Friday, April 17, 2020

Home Questing: Task #4






Here is the form to submit your joke: https://forms.gle/tzyiVhu4N1YKMwdBA

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

For Clove’s horror writing contest (for which, you can still earn 5 bonus points for entering), the link is available here: https://forms.gle/LTrD63dndRz8kpSq7. The deadline for that is May 1st, and I’ll give the bonus points after the competition is complete.

***************************

[Transcript]
Hi all, Janus here and welcome to the fourth task of home questing.  Last week’s comics were really great.  I really appreciated all of them, it was really hard to pick a winner last week.

This week’s task is to tell the funniest joke in whichever medium you choose to tell it.  The funniest joke will win.  Your deadline is tuesday at noon and your time starts now.

In addition, I would like to remind people to enter into Clove’s horror writing contest.  You’ll get 5 extra points for submitting there.  I hope to see you soon.

***************************

Home Questing Task #3: Results!

by Christopher "Janus" Donnelly

Hello and welcome to the judging of the third task.  This week, the challenge was to make the best four panel comic about yourself.  This week, we received four spectacular entries (plus my own since there were less than 5 entries,) so as is tradition, I will present them to you in the order I received them.


First, from Iawen is her chibi approach on fighting this plague:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1loe2YmLaBeAy0luaH5HcD6NXzdUqaioT


Next, from Cressida, is about when she became light-headed:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1_jEW94N4m1o8gg9mtU7p13I8Oj-9qfxH


Following this is a comic from DelHemar about getting drunk:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1d2yHZjDKYDUx8E5x83DDr4e028sYiocn/view?usp=sharing


Next the trio of Aeston, Areni, and Gwen submitted a comic about child wrangling:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NNxSBv_BECHiDGauQNpcegTAgRosRICw/view?usp=sharing


Finally, to round out the group is my own submission about when the times get dark:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/xEYVP1Sq6NZ5ALVq9


There were some absolutely fantastic entries this week, and it is going to be tough to rank them.  But luckily, I have Kyara here as a guest judge to help me with the task this week.  So, let’s take a look at Kyara’s rankings:

In 5th place (1 point) is Janus. I think this is a Chimeron thing...I don’t get it. Like, don’t get me wrong, I hate disrupt light too- total night blindness SUCKS, but I feel like I’m missing the joke here! Sorry. I demand fireside storytime for this!

In 4th place (2 points) is Cressida.  This was super cute and funny! Well drawn.

In 3rd place (3 points) is Aeston, Areni, and Gwen.  Ah yes- life with spawnlings. I imagine it’s similar to dealing with my lot on a regular basis and I’m sure as many others will attest, the final panel confirms it. Great linework- I also like that it flows like a poem!

In 2nd place (4 points) is Iawen. I love some good color. I think we all can agree that evil illnesses are more treacherous by far than the Strangers. Illnesses don’t even let us try to fight- boo hiss. The drawing on this was great and I love the amount of emotion displayed by the characters!

In 1st place (5 points) is DelHemar.
Oh Bones.
Might I point out to the masses that this person drew a HAND. A HAND. Do you know how hard that is? It’s nuts. Also this is a reference to a great story, and we all love great stories. Makes me think of fireside storytime.


Now here is my own judging.

Disqualified (0 points) is Janus’ submission.  I would have ranked it first, but he threatened me by saying “I know where you sleep”, earning him an automatic disqualification from my list.

In 4th place (2 points) is Iawen’s submission, which it pains me to do, as it was really good, but people really brought their A game today.

In 3rd place (3 points) is Cressida’s submission.  I really enjoyed the surreal joke it had.

In 2nd place (4 points) is Aeston, Areni, and Gwen’s story of raising children.  The joke was solid as was the art and story.

In 1st place (5 points) is DelHemar’s story, which had a more realistic art style, a good joke, and a nice stealth pun.


And now, for the weeks scores (including the point for participation):

DelHemar crushed it with 11 points.
Aeston, Areni and Gwen get 8 points.
Iawen gets 7 points.
Cressida gets 6 points.
And Janus earns a single solitary point.

And let’s see how that affects the scores up until this point:
DelHemar: 26.5 points.
Aeston, Areni, and Gwen: 18.5 points
Cressida: 14 points
Bart: 11 points
Iawen: 11 points
Saka: 10 points
Kwido: 6 points
Tarun Ul-Sikar: 5 points
Vanduke: 4 points
King Alexander Cecil: 2.5 points
Kara Nithisdottir: 1.5 points
Thoril: 1.5 points

Tune in today at 11:00 for the next challenge!

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Boff Brawl - Round 9

The winner of Boff Brawl Round 8 was: Kyro with Skeletor!

Winners so far:
Round 1: Avendar with Lion-o
Round 2: Freija with Aang
Round 3: Raynor with Finn
Round 4: Kindrianna with Leonardo
Round 5: Kovaks with She-ra
Round 6: Tao with Samurai Jack
Round 7: Saegan with Korra
Round 8: Kyro with Skeletor

Now for Round 9! This round puts us half way through the preliminary matches!


Player 1 - Thoril. Character, Aang.
Strategy: I would choose Aang, and the strategy would be to use air bending to keep his distance from the others taking pot shots at them and to prevent other opponents from taking flight to maintain air superiority. He'd use earth bending for surprise hits from below and to keep them off balance by messing up the terrain and water bending if they should close the gap to mid range and using the classic water hand whips to grapple and attack, suffocating them if he can enclose their head. Finally a combination of fire and earth bending in close range, fire for the main avenue of attack using the hands and occasionally using earth bending with the feet to as a surprise attack form outside their field of view. Saving the Avatar state as a last resort trump card to just overpower the opponents.

Player 2 - Runaris. Character, Samurai Jack.
Strategy: I would tell him to often take an aggressive approach unless outmatched then take decisive strikes. So I would ask him to be aggressive to start.

Player 3 - Isla. Character, She-ra.
Strategy: She would use empathy and sword of protection. Deflect first when possible, use body throws. 

Player 4 - Saka. Character, Korra.
Strategy: I'd pick Korra, no question. Power, versatility, speed, reach, and range. What more could you want in an avatar?

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Rumors for April 1020

[Across the Realms]

Some travellers on the outskirts of Towns such as Blackwood, Chimeron and Creathorne, claim to have spotted an odd skull faced creature wielding various weaponry and challenging any who approach to a first contact wins battle. Rewarding challengers with a piece of gold.

[Chimeron]


There is a rumor among peasantry that wishing on a shooting star is actually producing results the next morning, but not exactly as one expected their wish.

[Wendmor]


Residents are saddened by the loss of their dear baker (and general town Wrangler), who passed away in their sleep peacefully. As is the taught custom in Wendmor, they shall build a pyre to honor and then burn the dead.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Boff Brawl - Round 8

The winner of Boff Brawl Round 7 was: Saegan with Korra!

Winners so far:
Round 1: Avendar with Lion-o
Round 2: Freija with Aang
Round 3: Raynor with Finn
Round 4: Kindrianna with Leonardo
Round 5: Kovaks with She-ra
Round 6: Tao with Samurai Jack
Round 7: Saegan with Korra

Now for Round 8! This round puts us half way through the preliminary matches!



Player 1 - Higer. Character, Lion-o.
Strategy: Sight beyond sight and a kick a** squad, that’s all you need! Plus the Thundercats have a tank.

Player 2 - Kwido. Character, Aang.
Strategy: I would have him try to sneak around unnoticed and then pop in for very short bursts of combat when the enemy is weak.

Player 3 - Alpacasaurus. Character, Marceline.
Strategy: I'd tell her to try to team up with another competitor until it's just the two of them left or until time is almost out. Shortly before that happens, tell her to start trying to reach a position where she can eek out the victory.

Player 4 - Kyro. Character, Skeletor.
Strategy: Just go invisible and freeze people.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Meme Mondays

by the Meme Team


Friday, April 10, 2020

Home Questing: Task 3

by Christopher "Janus" Donnelly





Here is the form to submit your comic: https://forms.gle/No8g9x9nLqPgeRTP6

If you would prefer to send me the image directly rather than uploading itself, please email it to techiemikey@gmail.com.

For Clove’s horror writing contest (for which, you would earn 5 bonus points for entering), the link is available HERE.

*************************
[Transcript]

Hi all, Janus here.  Welcome to Home Questing #3.  First off I would like to say thank you to all the great verbals I received last week.  A few of them, well ok I’m not going to use them, but I can see them being used.

This week’s task might be slightly more in depth, so let’s just go straight into it.  This task is to make a comic about your character that is at least 4 panels long.  The best comic will win. 

In addition to this, I am going to plug one of the other contests which is running right now.  Clove is running a horror contest at the moment.  Anyone who enters will get 5 bonus points for Home Questing.  The deadline for that is May 1st, and I’ll provide the link for you.

I can’t wait to see you all on the field.

*************************

Home Questing Task 2 Results

by Christopher "Mikey" Donnelly 

Hello and welcome to the judging of the second task.  For a reminder of what the task was this week, I challenged people to write the best spell verbal they would never use.  We received a total of 7 entries this week, several new participants (one of whom even sent a video.)  So, let us start in the order we received them.


First, from Cressida is a verbal for Ward: Enchanted Beings which is intended to be sung.  I feel you’ll know to what once you read it.

“This is a spell that never ends or else my life would surely end. You best believe I am warding cause…. (Repeat Sing Chanting Forever)”


Next up, from DelHemar is a Seed of Life verbal sung near to the tune of "The Sewers" from Les Mis.

“Oh, here's a magic ring,  pretty little thing,  wouldn't want to waste it,  that would really be a crime.  If you weren't a stiff you would get up in time.”


Following up that is a non-musical spell from Kwido for Heal Limb which he assures is to be used when you really need to heal a limb right now:

“Good a good a good a good a bad a bad a bad a bad a good a heal limb!”


After that utilitarian verbal is an entry from the trio of Aeston/Areni/Gwen is another musical verbal this time for Cry of Life sung to the tune of "Let Her Cry," by Hootie and the Blowfish

“Cry of life, if the bodies fall down like rain; Cry of life, if it eases all their pain; Let them rise, let them fight in front of me; And if the enemies get up also, let me be; let me be. Let me beeeeee, (all in the sound of my voice, rise and fight).”


Following that is a nice and short verbal from newcomer Bart for the spell Light, who assures us they would never use this verbal because they hate the spell and wouldn’t waste a spell slot on it.

“Ow, my eyes!”


This brings us to our penultimate submission, newcomer Kara Nithisdottir for the spell Raise Dead:

“Can the gods just pity us once? Can the gods just pity us once? Can the gods just pity us once? Can the gods just pity us once? Can the gods just pity us once?”


Now for our final submission is the newcomer Iawen who decided for a more educational approach to Heal Limb with her daughters:




There were some really good and creative verbals in here.  So, let’s get Tao, our guest judge for the week, to rank the best verbals:

In fifth (1 pt) is the verbal that never ends, while highly annoying, it's still good enough to hit the top five

In fourth (2 pts) is the chaotic ramblings of a player 4, the cuteness it burns, burns, make it stop

In third (3 pts), the verbal that I will have in my head for another decade as the bodies hit the floor, no, wait that is another song, in third is let her cry

In second (4 pts), and more creative than some, Magic ring

And finally in first place (5pts), it sounds like it should be a counter spell, not the verbal itself, but it also made me laugh out loud, My eyes have seen the best.


 From my point of view, here’s how things worked out:

5th place (1 pt) goes to Iawen for a verbal even a child could use.  Also cuteness.

4th place (2 pts) goes to DelHemar for a solid verbal based in musical theater.

3rd place (3 pts) goes to Kwido for a verbal that nearly rival’s Bart’s in speed.

2nd place (4 pts) goes to Aeston/Areni/Gwen for their extra-long Cry of Life verbal.

My top spot (5 pts) goes to Bart for his amazing Light spell verbal.


In addition to this, there are a few bonus points to hand out:

½ point to Kwido for making a heal limb verbal slightly better then “one, two….”
½ to DelHemar, for making me go look up a particular section, finding the movie version and reminding me why I hated that version all over again.
And ½ point to Ms. Nithisdottir for a really good first line


So after the point for participation, this week’s scores are:

Bart: 11 points
Aeston/Areni/Gwen: 8 points
DelHemar: 7.5 points
Kwido: 4.5 points
Iawen: 4 points
Cressida: 2 points
Kara Nithisdottir: 1.5 points


And the combined scores after two tasks are:

DelHemar: 15.5 points
Bart: 11 points
Aeston, Areni, and Gwen: 10.5 points
Saka: 10 points
Cressida: 8 points
Kwido: 6 points
Tarun Ul-Sikar: 5 points
Iawen: 4 points
Vanduke: 4 points
King Alexander Cecil: 2.5 points
Kara Nithisdottir: 1.5 points
Thoril:  1.5 points



Stay tuned later today for the Third Task!

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Boff Brawl - Round 7

The winner of Boff Brawl Round 6 was: Tao with Samurai Jack!

Winners so far:
Round 1: Avendar with Lion-o
Round 2: Freija with Aang
Round 3: Raynor with Finn
Round 4: Kindrianna with Leonardo
Round 5: Kovaks with She-ra
Round 6: Tao with Samurai Jack

Now for Round 7!



Player 1 - Rillan. Character, Goliath.
Strategy: I would have him approach fights with intelligence and utilize his strong leadership prowess to protect and accomplish his goals. Use strength and attempt to keep rage in battle as a last resort to win.

Player 2 - Tuilli. Character, Steven Universe.
Strategy: Steven would be my choice.  He should use a blended strategy, combining his agility,   shield, and Connie's sword. Finally he should be able to call on the laser light cannons as a finisher.

Player 3 - Saegan. Character, Korra.
Strategy: I’d choose Korra, and utilize her pro-bending styles and avatar form to take down my foes from afar and then simply overpower them.

Player 4 - Killian. Character, Zuko.
Strategy: He is determined and has range with the fire bending. And maybe even lightning bending depending on what season it is. Strategy would just be aggressive.


Wednesday, April 8, 2020

What You Missed - Tales of Teng Hua 2.1

by Stephen “Laika” Sanford

On Saturday, March 21 our community was treated to a unique event that was quite different from what the Realms is used to. Due to the physical distancing needed to prevent possible transmission of the COVID-19 disease, this event was not held in the material world as we are used to; it was held fully online through a Discord server in a new take on the Realms' rich history of “e-questing”. While this was not a legal event (by the current Realms rules) it was well-attended and a very enjoyable experience.

The event was held from 12pm-4pm and had scheduled classes and seminars throughout the day. The schedule was as follows:

12:00pm: Event start, text and voice channels open to everyone to explore 
1:00pm: Storytelling for Yosei 
1:30pm: Flower Game vs others 
2:00pm: Storytelling with Trade Guild 
2:30pm: Shiho vs others 
3:15pm: Storytelling with Wujen

Outside of these scheduled offerings, there were various activities one could peruse at will in several  separate locations:

Downtown Job Board - A location where a virtual scavenger hunt was prepared. People could post photos of their creations and experiences with Teng Hua culture.

The Jade Teapot - A tea house where attendees could learn how to perform tea ceremonies, and had the opportunity to chat with locals over a hot drink.

The Gardens - Many Yosei could be befriended here, and visitors could speak with the Yosei Professor.

The Temple of Seven - A temple where one could sit in the tranquil darkness and meditate to hear the voices of the seven elements and learn how to begin trials in order to form a bond with the elements.

An Herbalists Needs - The local flower shop which hosted the Spring Flower Festival’s flower arrangement workshop.

The Market Square - Activities here focused on trade and plans for the Spring Flower Festival.

Akemi’s Library - A place to share stories and study things involving the Wujen.

Takara’s Tavern - The local tavern where folks could enjoy freeform games of Shiho and where a tournament was held.

The Golden Crane - The Golden Crane Dojo is a place where students study in order to become Samurai.

The Wishing Well - A place where magic, faith, and poetry come together in order to communicate information or to offer prayers.



While it was possible for one person to experience much of this festival, I did not see everything and there are many people who will have stories to tell from their varied perspectives.

The day began with the Emperor himself greeting his guests with his daughter, Princess Kuko. He welcomed everyone to the Flower Festival and described all the activities being held throughout the day.

I decided to check out the Job Board and found the scavenger hunt to be quite enjoyable, though some of the activities were very time consuming. Many creative contributions were documented. I would recommend checking out the Discord channel if you have the time (or some other repository, if the staff ends up compiling the photos into a gallery).

The scavenger hunt objectives were as follows:

 ‐ Take a Selfie in your garb
 ‐ Make something out of origami
 ‐ Make a Zentangle on a 6" x6" piece of paper
 ‐ Take a picture of you having a Tea Ceremony
 ‐ Make a Bonsai tree out of anything you have handy
 ‐ Show us a picture of a magical creature from your lands
 ‐ Make a Teng Huanese dragon out of a flour playdough
 ‐ Make a Teng Huanese style meal and show us




I regrettably did not participate in the discussion on Yosei as I spent most of the first hour working on the scavenger hunt.I spent the second hour communing with the seven elements.

While my trials are personal I do want to share a bit of information for those who wish to walk the path of the Ryokusha (the ones who are beginning the trials of the seven elements and have not yet achieved the title of Kiero-rei). To begin, one must be of a sound mind and must meditate in order to hear the elements' voices. This can be done at The Temple of Seven or other elementally-attuned locations.

The current sect of elements are the Choro-tachi which means "Eldest group." There are seven elements, each represented by a spirit with their own personality. They and their respective domains are as follows:

Mizu - Water: Leadership, coordination.
Chikyuu - Earth: Nurturing and caring for others
Kooki- Wind: Truth seeking, Knowledge, Observation
Kesaia - Fire: Passion, Conviction, Fervor
Muko - Void: Opportunity, Creativity
Kinzoku - Metal: Craftsmanship, Hard work
Mokusai - Wood: Community, Growth

Mizu, as far as I can tell, is the leader of this sect and will likely be the one you speak with. For those who wish to start trials, know that they are meant to help you  understand who you are as a person and suggest steps to take in order to develop certain aspects of yourself. Each element will give you a trial befitting of its nature and personality. If you wish to start the trials, feel free to reach out to me and I will assist to the best of my ability.



After I communed with the spirits, I ventured to An Herbalists Needs and witnessed the tail end of the flower game, which looked like a neat strategy game of creating flower arrangements. Afterward, I went to the tea house where I brewed and enjoyed a delicious raspberry tea while I hung the Banner of Wind behind me.




To close out my day in Teng Hua, I listened to stories of the Regalia from the Wujen.

For this seminar we were graced by the presence of the Emperor himself, though Taki Hzu spoke for most of the class. We learned that Regalia were seven items to be gathered in order to participate in the tournament to be Emperor of Teng Hua. These items were the ones collected by Lysis and may not be the same ones gathered by the previous Emperor (Akita Kai). While there are 8 listed, only 7 are the real Regalia. It seems no one knows which one is the fake.

These items are as follows:

Bushido: A katana that is so razor sharp that if one were to draw it, they could cleave through anything in a single slice.

Kedemono: The unbreakable Nodachi, said to be forged by a material never to be found ever again. When the tournament was over all of the items were to be given out to the various clans but this was the item Lysis chose to keep for himself.

The Warbanner: The banner worn by the first Samurai, legend has it whoever wears this banner can empower a whole army to stave off many wounds. In order to enter the tournament for the position of Emperor, Lysis had this item in order to prove his claim upon the throne.

Remei: A Bow/Daikyuu, when an arrow is shot from this bow it rumbles like thunder. It can be used to stun groups of enemies.

Tomo no Kuku: The coin of wealth. Believed to possibly be the false item of Regalia.

Kura to Tatsu: Armor forged of elder dragon scales, its powers are unknown but is believed to be unbreakable as a boulder hit the wearer, and though they died the armor was unscathed.

Himitsu: A tanto which is longer than a normal tanto, no information on its powers. (Himitsu means "secret" so this is very appropriate.)

Motomeru: A Wakizashi that when meditated with, gives the wielder insight on whatever they are seeking.



After the tales of Regalia a robed figure entered the library claiming to be Shino-Kagei. He claimed that the current Emperor, Lysis, had betrayed Akita Kai, who was the former Emperor. In order to exact his revenge he took it out on Lysis’ daughter, Kuko. Princess Kuko immediately fell ill and Shino-Kagei left. With the bad news of Princess Kuko, the joy of the festival left as well. Many of us adventurers spent the rest of the day writing poetry to the Wishing Well in an attempt to bring back Kuko’s good health.



Overall, the event was a big success and was very enjoyable. The staff did a great job giving players flexible and varied ways to explore their plot throughout the day. While this event might have been even better if done physically it was a great experience and the gold standard of what I think e-questing should be.



Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Boff Brawl - Round 6

The winner of Boff Brawl Round 5 was: Kovaks with She-ra!

Winners so far:
Round 1: Avendar with Lion-o
Round 2: Freija with Aang
Round 3: Raynor with Finn
Round 4: Kindrianna with Leonardo
Round 5: Kovaks with She-ra

Now for Round 6!


Player 1 - Tao. Character, Samurai Jack.
Strategy: Ducking and dodging, spinning and slashing, winding a ribbon of destruction through the enemy. Favoring the style of many small cuts with little risk.

Player 2 - Shader. Character, He-man.
Strategy: I would choose He-man and always ask "Hey baby, wanna see my Sword of Power?" Before every fight. Then attack while they laugh or cringe.

Player 3 - Eldritch. Character, Aang.
Strategy: Since I have to choose an "avatar" I will of course choose Aang who will use the power of the air and other elements to freeze and shrink He-man’s sword of power.

Player 4 - Mogar. Character, Goliath.
Strategy: Probably something defensive.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Meme Mondays

by the Meme Team


Friday, April 3, 2020

Home Questing: Second Task

by Christopher "Janus" Donnelly




So, here is little bit of extra information:

Here is where you submit the verbal:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfEsiOEM1HEl0cOzxdEFlZWfgZhjao5rHwn5dbkOtZ2pVCiOw/viewform?usp=sf_link

This week, you can submit text or a video (or I suppose an image if you really want to.)  If you are submitting a video or photo, please send me a link to it (either already on youtube or other similar publicly viewable way), as I realized I might start running into storage issues if I get too many.  As always, you can also choose to email me a submission at techiemikey@gmail.com.  I look forward to what you all come up with.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Transcript:

Hey everyone, Janus here.  I would just like to say everyone did a great job with their entries this week.  I was very impressed with all of them.

Let’s get into this week’s challenge, shall we?  This week, I am challenging you all to write the best spell verbal you would never use.  Your deadline is Monday at midnight, and your time starts now.


Home Questing First Task - Results

by Christopher "Janus" Donnelly 

Hello, and welcome to the judging of the first task, which as a reminder was to make a stack of objects, and the most impressive stack would win.  We got a total of nine entries (plus my own entry which was to be used in case we had less than 5 to help keep someone from getting a ton of easy points with no competition.)  In addition to the entries, I have Faelinn here as this week’s secret guest judge. So, let’s take a look at these in the order that they came in.

First on the list is Vanduke's entry:


This was actually cut down from a large series of videos that he sent in, which was a scathing commentary on hoarding goods in this day and age.  Unfortunately, I had to cut the footage down to only one of the many stacks of hoarded goods being ferreted out, which resulted in that video.  All in all, a nice stack.


The next entry is Kwido’s Entry:


According to his notes, each of these cards measure an impressive 92cm x 68cm x 5mm, and they would be hard to gather together.  In addition, there is a fantastic pun of Magic Cards and “The Stack” that could potentially be used here.  Unfortunately, while the materials of the stack are quite impressive, the stack itself isn’t as impressive.


Following this is Tarun Ul-Sikar’s entry:


Oh my Goya’d, that is one large stack.  It seems to be up to my nose.  For height itself, it is rather impressive, as is how straight the stack is.


Next up is King Alexander Cecil’s entry:


It does seem to have a lot of time and care put into it, and appears really large and impressive at first, but if you take a closer look at it, you will discover that it’s actually just really really close.  While it is a well executed stack, I am not sure “Impressive” is the right word for it.


Now, for Thoril’s entry, I will let him speak for himself:


“This stack, purely constructed of acorns,  shall be known as the great acorn reserve of the realms. No longer will Spellcasters need fear the Tyranny of the dreaded spell quest of Sir Sean of Creathorne of searching for 100 acorns EVEN though it is never acorn season when tasks it!
Stand with me my fellow spellcasters let us stand together and vote for the acorn reserve stack and never fear the acorns again!”

That sure is functional Thoril.


After Thoril’s entry comes DelHemar.


His entry I find quite impressive myself.  While I am not sure where it is in terms of height compared to the stack of Goya, the lack of a uniform item really boosts it’s impressiveness to me.


Now comes Cressida, our second video entry:


Both Faelinn and I have said we have all been there.


Coming from Aeston, Areni, and Gwen is our last video entry of the week which they call the “Tower of Babble”


I feel this is the only stack that literally speaks on it’s own.


Now for the final entry, we have Saka:


After seeing this, I contacted Saka to see if there was a trick involved, and this was done as-is.  No trick to it.


And of course, my submission, which will subsequently be ignored because we had 5 or more entries:


So, let’s look at the judge’s Top 5 most impressive stacks:

Janus’s Top 5
5. Aeston, Areni, and Gwen (1 point) It’s so blinky...I can’t leave it off my top 5
4.  Tarun Ul-Sikar (2 points).  This was a really straight, decently tall stack.  I was kinda impressed.
3. Vanduke (3 points). I didn’t notice it at first, but that stack was higher than I expected.
2. DelHemar (4 points).  This is both really high, and more impressive because the smallest spice container was in the middle.
1. Saka (5 points)  I am very impressed.  I’m not sure if I could do this one myself.

Faelinn’s Top 5:
5. King Alexander Cecil (1 point)- It’s the most literal “stack” and a hipster photo.
4. Tarun (2 points) - This was impressive, but was narrowly beaten out by...
3. DelHamar (3 points) ...because the bases of this one are smaller.  Also, it is a spicy stack.
2. Saka (4 points) - This one was the most physics defying stack.
1. Cressida (5 points) -  This was the most “stacktastic” with stacks of boxes everywhere.


Now on to some bonus points we decided to hand out:

Cecil gets an extra half of a point for the most likely picture to be on Instagram.
Aeston, Areni, and Gwen get an extra half of a point for being the most likely to give Faelinn PTSD
Kwido earns the ”Most likely to clean out the basement because of comparable stuff” award for a half of a point.
And finally Thoril earns the award for making a stack out of the least stackable objects for a half of a point.

So with those points, and the 1 automatic point everyone earned for a submission, here are the scores after the first task:

1) Saka - 10 points
2) DelHamar - 8 points
3) Cressida - 6 points
4) Tarun Ul-Sikar - 5 points
5) Vanduke - 4 points
6) King Alexander Cecil - 2.5 points
6) Aeston, Areni, and Gwen - 2.5 points
8) Thoril - 1.5 points
8) Kwido - 1.5 points

Stay tuned later today when we find out the second task!


Thursday, April 2, 2020

Boff Brawl - Round 5

The winner of Boff Brawl Round 4 was: Kindrianna with Leonardo!

Winners so far:
Round 1: Avendar with Lion-o
Round 2: Freija with Aang
Round 3: Raynor with Finn
Round 4: Kindrianna with Leonardo

Now for Round 5!


Player 1 - Iawen. Character, Garnet.
Strategy: I'd tell her to do her best, and realize that with the exception of Steven Universe all of her other opponents are not above being devious/clever in a pinch, so to keep her wits about her. Also, should she break into Ruby and Sapphire, to just focus on the dance and love (get back together when ready).

Player 2 - Kovaks. Character, She-ra.
Strategy: I'd tell her to act very defensively, dodging, using protective abilities, and staying out of range until at least one other player is eliminated. She'd use that time to try to learn her opponents’ strategy to best be able to defeat them in the end-game.

Player 3 - Jericho. Character, Zuko.
Strategy: I would pick Zuko. I would advise Zuko to use his flames to keep the other enemies closer together so they would be more likely to fight each other first. I would also advise him to use his head and make rational judgments about when he should press the fight or temporarily retreat. I would also remind him to keep an eye on the sky as many of the potential opponents have the chance to attack from above.

Player 4 - Charwindle. Character, Leonardo.
Strategy: Is “all out attack” an option? I do that.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Ask Zarine #6

by Sara "Zarine" Jessop


Dear Madam Zarine,

There's someone I care about a lot that is in my group and I think it's probably mutual, but I'm worried that if I act on it anyway, if it works out or not, it will make things strange for our other friends. They dated someone who is also in the group, though that person rarely plays and shows up now they're still friends with everyone. I'm sure there's no perfect answer to all of this but what's the best way to minimize the damage that might be caused?

- Realms Romeo

*************************

It's not often that people realize that their association with each other also affects folks outside of that relationship. All of our interactions have consequences on those close to us. Our communities are closely intertwined and can easily be disrupted by the relations of others. That being said, sometimes you need to do what is right for yourself. We have no way of knowing the future, other than through seer spells which tend to be vague and only understood after the events have come to pass, which quite frankly makes them rather useless in my opinion. All that we can do is ponder the effect that our choices might have in the here and now and hope that the future works out in the best interest of everyone.

Let me tell you about two wonderfully lovely people that I know... well, one of them is lovely, the other is a bit of a disgruntled old curmudgeon. Anyways, these two were going through life as very close friends. They used to jest about how they would make great second spouses to each other someday, as they knew their relationships with their current companions were doomed to failure. They knew their current relationships were tolerable if not great, their relationship with each other was good the way it was, and their friends all around them were happy with the way things were. Why shake up the status quo when it was working for so many other people? But eventually love finds a way, or so I am told by people with more of a romantic outlook on life than myself, and at long last they found themselves in a relationship with each other and you know what they discovered? That their friends and family were not only happy for them but that they had been waiting for them to come to their senses and get together for years.

The people around you are not blind. Oftentimes they can see what's right for us even before we see it for ourselves. All of their friends could see that they were meant for each other and most were willing to sail through some rougher waters for a few months while everything settled into place so that two people that they cared about could find happiness in another port. And the ones who weren't, well some were people who needed to be cut loose anyways, and others maybe just needed some time to come to their senses. But eventually the dust settled and everyone found comfort in the new status quo.

So what happens when those two inevitably break up? I have no idea. The two twits are still together somehow, defying everything I know about love and it's inescapable suffocation that slowly kills everyone involved until someone finally gasps for air and destroys the illusion. But I can tell you from the experience of watching it happen to many others that communication seems to work best. Your friends will take their queues on how to handle the situation from the two of you. It might be awkward for a bit on either end, but the more open and honest you are the more your friends will be put at ease about it and become more accepting. The same goes if you decide to end the relationship. Let them know how you plan to handle it and what you expect of them as your friends. If it's an amicable break up it will be much easier of course. If the two of you create a war zone, well don't be surprised when your friends take up arms and join the fray.

So, the real question is, how much do you love this person? Because there is a possibility that this will negatively impact others. And of course there is the possibility that it could ruin your friendship. Some say it's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, but I find that to be utter rubbish. It isn't always better. Every possible couple combination in the world has a different answer to the question 'is it worth it', and only you can decide that.

Of course, we still don't know if this mysterious other person even reciprocates your feelings, so step one would be figuring that out. If they don't, well then none of this even matters and you are worrying over nothing. If you wait too long they may assume you aren't interested and find someone else. Life is shorter than you think, so don't waste it worrying about 'what ifs'. We regret the things we didn't do far more than the things we did.

And when this all crashes down and you find yourself miserable and alone, come have a cup of tea with someone who knows all too well the cost of misplaced love. You can tell me about how terrible it all was while I wallow in the depths of someone else's misery for a while and reaffirm my own status quo.