Friday, July 31, 2020

Home Questing: The Thirteenth Task Results

By Christopher "Janus" Donnelly


Hello, and welcome to the submissions and results for the 13th task.  This week, I asked people to resize an object, and the largest change in size wins. 

First, from Cressida, we received a change that, according to her was done with a magic peacock feather.




Next from Iawen is a submission that sure took a while to increase in size:




And finally, from Janus:




So, having expected people to make objects change size using reality magic, I asked a reality mage for help on this task.  Take it away Rel.

1st place Cressida (5 points): I don't understand why we have so many dangerous feathers in the Realms...  First place goes to Cressida for not only the tremendous growth of her alligator, but also for the tremendous shrinkage of her hopes in keeping this alligator

2nd place (4 points) Iawen: I'm sure Chronos is proud to have contributed to this entry.  Second place goes to Iawen for all the growth Dani has done.  In another 5 years, this will be an easy win for Iawen (unless Dani claims herself first)

3rd place (3 points) Janus: My one hope is this apple eventually made its way into a pie.  Third place goes to Janus for creating a giant apple for what I have to imagine was already a giant appetite
Thanks so much for that insight, Rel.  Now for my view.  These were all fantastic entries.  But for determining what was the “largest” change in size, it’s actually a close one, making this really tough, as the two largest size changes are comparing “longer and thinner” vs “more compact”.  So that leads me to this conclusion:

In 1st place is Cressida (5 points).  The alligator started off small enough that hands were able to encompass it, but grew to a size where I am sure I would not be able to hold it.

Meanwhile, in 2nd place is Iawen (4 points).  Dani started small, but has grown up to a size where I still think I would still be able to pick her up and carry her.

And finally, I have to disqualify Janus.  I have it on good authority that the apple size did not actually change, just that it was moved closer to the observer.  Maybe it would count in fae...but not today.

That brings today’s scores to:

Cressida 10 points.
Iawen 8 points.


I’ll see people next week for a new challenge!



Thursday, July 30, 2020

Why I Want To Go: RealmsCraft Questing 2 - A Pond of Ice and Faerie

By Patrick "Viktor" Morgan


IC:
Why I wanna go? Youse kiddin me right? Alright lemme give ye de run down ‘ere!
So I might be new around ‘ere but I gotta tell ya, the news about Chimeron travels far ‘n’ fast like a horse with a magic missile up its-.
They’s gots all kinds o’ mess goin on like.. All de freakin time!
But hey, dis time dey’s got frozen lakes. Now I dunno if youse’s been ta ya window durin’ dis Great Plague™, but it’s hotter than Volcanrok out dere! Now me? I’m covered in fur! Any chance ta cool down is a great idea! Surely I ain’t alone dere.
Dey’s got deir militia’s goin undagrounds right nows and dey’s sendin’ a bunch o’ us in, in small groups at 12pm, 2pm, 4pm n 6pm.
I’m on de four o clock squad so hopefully de teams before me n mine don’t get lost down there and we gotta come back up with their dumb skulls.
Now, this Great Plague™ has been a killer fer folks like me who live on de road. Ain’t no income aint no food in youses belly. I fer one am happy ta get some action fer the first time in months!
Side’s, any chance ta make new pals is always welcome, so ye goin’ too? Might as well ey?
I hear de cake in Realmscraft is great! Let’s just hope there ain’t no freaky dragon portals or nottin!
-Viktor



OOC:
Listen. Quarantine is a pain in the butt, we know this. This darn plague has cancelled so many amazing events and stopped us from seeing our friends and family and enjoying our summer, from hitting each other with sticks, having good food and camping under the stars.
Now me, I’m an introvert and new to Realms with not a lot of money in my pocket to attend such things but I hold a deep need to roleplay strange creatures and swing sticks just as much as anyone.
I’ve been quite happy to sit at home with my introverted self and play Minecraft. Now you go ahead and tell me there’s a Minecraft event I’m down. But a Minecraft event with my Realms pals and a chance to play my newest character and show off my hardcore parkor skills? I’m down! (haha I’m kidding I suck at Minecraft parkour!)
Not only that but this event is FREE! Yeah you heard it FREE!
Let me get this straight for ya.
- A safe environment at home.
- Chat with your fellow Realms pals that we all miss
- FREE event!
- Playing video games with said Realms pals
- Questing, Tomfoolery and Shenanigans to be had
How could you not be down for this?

I hear a lot of folks say Minecraft confuses as a new player them, but as someone who’s played this game since its Alpha, I can tell you that the game has updated so much that you get help where it’s needed by the games own system, and for those who know the game its very easy to ignore. You could easily pick this game up if you’ve never played before and those that have it’s easy to teach new players. If you’ve never picked up the game before I can assure you, you’d have enough skills to play this event in like less than an hour!

Quarantine has been hard on all of us, and seeing all our events getting cancelled, seeing one pop up that’s not only safe, but free and in a very loved game, you’d be missing out for sure!
One more thing, as someone who’s been playing this game a long time, making an adventure map like this takes TIME. Time, Effort, blood sweat and many tears as the in-game enemies destroy your hard work cos you forgot to turn back into creative building mode after testing that one thing… It happens more often than you might think… Yeah that’s experience talking… Ahern- These folks of RealmsCraft have made something fantastic and I am personally incredibly excited to see how this goes. Hope to see you there too!


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

What You Missed- Knights of the Sable Dragon Present: Training Day


by Renee "Kindrianna" Booke

On Saturday, July 25th, the Knights of the Sable Dragon (and Squires!) organized a virtual training day for the Realms to enjoy. Players could sign up ahead of time to attend classes they had an interest in, a welcome addition to our community’s increasingly virtual content amid the Pandemic.

Classes began at noon, running in fifty-minute blocks up until about 6:00 PM. There were many to choose from, featuring generous teachers from all across the community. Topics ranged from EHing and encounter design to crafting, questing skills, and more! Adventurers lingering between classes, or those stopping in for a drink, could remain in the tavern and visit with one another. It was nice to see some familiar faces, and some of us were lucky enough to catch a musical performance as we bantered and spoke of faraway places and threats.

One of our teachers, Sara Jessop aka Zarine, was kind/talented enough to make a video resource to accompany her class Ward: Mundane - Getting Into and Staying In-Character. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s pretty fantastic. Alter Egos Episode 1 covers getting into and staying in character despite all the mundane world distractions in the Realms. You can currently find it on YouTube, or click here!

Shortly after 6:00 PM, the silent charity auction for Neil Kusleika's recovery that had been running all day began to wrap up. There was an impressive showing of items on the docket including but not limited to an Adventurer’s Guild Personal Quest, a bottle of Moniack Mead, a beautiful handmade lyre created by Alexandra Reynolds, a fashionable questing cloak made by Kim Coffey, and a wooden mug made by the talented Eli Spicer. There were many more incredibly generous people, without whom the auction would not have been successful, and our deepest thanks goes out to each of you. In the end, we were able to raise more than $959! It was a good reminder that even in these dark times we come from a loving, and supportive community.

All in all, the event had a good combination of newer adventurers picking up some pointers, and older players looking to try something new for the first time. It was wonderful to see everyone and hear their voices. My only lament is that the time felt like it went by way too fast.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Cross the View


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 come from rules or items in the Omnibus. Click on a clue or an area of the grid to fill it in!

Many of the clues involve some sort of wordplay besides just being an Omnibus term or definition. For example, the answer to the clue "The best way to get an edge on your opponent" would be "sword".

Tell us how you did in the Facebook comments!





































Monday, July 27, 2020

Meme Mondays

by the Meme Team


Friday, July 24, 2020

Home Questing - The Fourteenth Task




Here is the form for you to submit your attempt to attract a Yosei Arborisuto:
https://forms.gle/d9uhQRjPg4wQqdcD8


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.



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

Transcript:

Hello, and welcome to Home Questing: The fourteenth task.  This week is going to run a little bit different than usual.  Instead of our normal challenge, this week’s task won’t be a competition.  Instead, anyone who completes it shall earn the points.  We are going to be trying to attract a Yosei Arborisuto.  I appologize if I mispronounce that.  In order to attract one, you need to plant a tree seed and then give it some words of encouragement.  These words of encouragement should be for it to join us when it is ready.  You have until next friday at noon, and your time starts now.

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

Thursday, July 23, 2020

O'er The Lands of the Realms: Rathkeale

by Jason "Aeston" Rosa




Description by Brendan "Hayden" Lam

Welcome to The Empire of Rathkeale also known as New Rathkeale, the last remnants of a history bygone past. Some quick rules before we tour the wondrous lands that have a deep rooted history inside the timeline that is The Realms!

One
Rathkeale is a home to those who have none! If you need a place to stay and you don’t rub Emperor Hayden the wrong way then your welcome as long as you don't break anything. And remember to wait half an hour before taking a dip or the sea monsters will get indigestion.

Two
Be understanding of the culture, what seems might be conceived as “EVIL!!!!” to you could simply be someone trying to raise a family…

Three
Freedom of Religion! Don’t be a bigot! Everybody and thing is welcomed! Let’s all have some fun and be civilized in a barbaric kinda fashion!

Four
Have fun at the cost of your own safety… no one is responsible for you unless you got homies so if you walk through a portal it's not our fault if you're trapped forever.

Five
The fauna and foliage are all hostile, Emperor Hayden does indeed have a few screws loose and Necromancy is totally not an evil practice! Also bug Lord Elric if you have any problems. Why you ask? Why not he’s the right hand of the Emperor. What's the point of being a leader if you can’t delegate issues to your trusted aid.

There are other rules and laws but these 5 kinda encompass what Hayden’s vision of Rathkeale should be after taking management of it from Emperor Artex Bluebane; a wild place to be but a place welcoming to many if not all.

To start our journey we start on the peninsula and the city that was built on it, Rock Wood! The harbor city of Rockwood is the main trade harbor for Rathkeale; it is here that most of our exchange and commerce among the Realms occur. A quaint place to get a feel for the mood of Rathkeale as it is filled with Taverns, Bars, Brothels, and more. If you're looking for some fine dining visit the Bone’s BBQ Bonanza! Where the finest blood wine in all the Realms is served. Looking for some armor and wears…? Cassin’s Weapons and the Rathkeale Forge are the nicest stores you’ll find in the far reaches of the Empire some might say the only stores you find in the Empire! And if you're injured or beaten take Misty’s Mist Apothecary to get those wounds taken care off. If you're sick and tired of the hustle and bustle of Rock Wood catch a dingy and if you survive the monster infested waters you can take a quick trip over to Brewerton.

Ahh Brewerton an entire settlement dedicated to the brewing of Blood Wine and fabrication of Kraken Ink! You can take a tour, a sip and maybe even a dip at your own risk of course and feel the culture or couture of the Rathkeale lifestyle. From here you can island hop to some deserted island and meet the local indigenous species. After dancing with the skeletons or rocking out with the banshees you'll make your way to the sword and shield of the empire Videssos and Crucible!

Videssos and Crucible are where the armies and manpower of Rathkeale come from. Here we train soldiers and raise armies. No better place than to raise a family as well strong and eternal bonds! Our captain of the Imperial undead legion Sven Svenson will tell you it's a piece of hel-Heaven on earth! Some say when you come here you never want to leave. It is like a piece of a mythical realm set on our wondrous land. A place where mystical will happen and open your eyes to an entirely new view on the world. But if you resist the temptation of its wondrous training regiments and health care plan then you’ll probably take a trip to Donovale.

Donovale what a small little port city it is. Nice and quaint generally quiet as a ghost town and serves as a tranquil resting ground for weary travelers. This little port city is where products and goods are shipped out to and then transferred via sea vessel to Rock Wood. People come to Donovale to take in the mainland of Rathkeale to see the haunted forests, the tombs where great heroes and the Dishonored are buried; apparently there are tombs and catacombs all over Rathkeale filled with who knows what. It also serves as an eternal resting ground for those waiting to travel to the heart of the Empire. The Castle of Rathkeale where the Emperor Rests till he is called upon again.

The Castle of Rathkeale is a large city sized structure where all major celebrations and experimentations happen. It is here Hayden found his home and his greatest creations. There is not much to say about the castle, it is like any other. It sits upon a large burial ground where warriors and creatures alike have died. It's catacombs and cellars go deep into the reaches of the earth. The security is consistent with a great number of Undead both hostile and friendly; and the Knights of the Silver Chalice, as the Castle also serves as a headquarters of sorts. And to top it all off it is home to an intelligent Dracolich that helps maintain the island and has a hand in the wonderous technological advances in the Empire’s Labs.

That consists of the mainland but there's still more to come! First is the island of Revenant and there's not much to say about it other than what its name represents. Venture here at your own risk. There is a small settlement that remains partially inhabitant on it; It is named Roanoke. It is here that we leave that which we do not want to deal with at the time. There are rumors that the island serves as a Demonic Poison Pot but hey rumors are just rumors right?

Next is the island of Skye, for the most part this island is uninhabited only a large tower was constructed on it. Visit if you wish but we hold no responsibility for your safety if you do. A quick piece of advice, it is said a silvery creature inhabits that island. It tends to not bother anyone but you can never be too careful. Stories say the creature is nothing but a myth used to dissuade visitors; others say it is a creature that will whisk you away to another land familiar yet not...

Finally our journey comes to an end on the island of Vangaurd. Vanguard for the most part remains as a large untouched land of nature. The inhabitants of the Empire visit Vanguard to pay respects and to get away from the hustle and bustle of the world. On this island a small settlement was constructed. The City of Oden there isn't much to say about this city. There's a small church that was constructed at its center for the church of Chaos, and the entire settlement serves as a military outpost. Surprisingly some people find this land to be a great place to settle down and at times we sell small plots of lands to them for the right price. The island itself has some unique things hidden about it, but with all that was said it is a story for another time...

It has been a pleasure to talk about the wondrous land that I call my home and I hope that those of you who are out there will visit someday. Whether it be a good natured visit or one of war The Empire of Rathkeale will always open its doors!

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Puzzle Me This Again

by Tucker "Temorse" Noyes

This puzzle is called a Connecting Wall.  It is a 4x4 grid of words and concepts that are all connected somehow in four sets of four.  Although you may find some sets of four that would make sense together, there is one way to connect them all so all four make sense.

Below are 3 links to the walls, of roughly three different difficulty levels.  Each wall is timed, and awards 1 point for each successful connection you make, and 1 additional point for correctly guessing the connection once the wall is complete, and 2 bonus points if you finish the whole wall in time.  The wall lasts for 3 minutes.  Once you get down to the last two sets, you will only get three guesses before you forfeit the rest of your time.

Easy:

Medium:

Hard:

Let us know how you did in the comments on Facebook!

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Voices in the View

Interview with "Clove"


View Staff: Tell us a bit about yourself.  What is your background? How did you get into gaming/LARPing and specifically how did you end up being a part of Realms?

C: Let's start with gaming. My dad's been a huge videogame nerd ever since they came out. When I had nightmares as a toddler, I'd wander down the hall to his office and he'd put me on his lap and let me press the buttons.

The game? Diablo. Warcraft, later the frozen throne expansion.

As for larping, by college I had played dungeons and dragons, and I was always really frustrated with being inside on a nice day. I wanted to take those character sheets outside, but never found the proper outlet.

I did attend renaissance faires, though, and one hot summer day my friends were whisked into the LARPing tent.

Begrudgingly, I followed, and as the performers gave their spiel, it sounded interesting to me. The following May, I went, unaccompanied, to my first LARPing event in bumf*ck middle of nowhere, Connecticut. No cell reception, no wifi. My parents were obviously pleased.

And I got super into it and loved it.

A friend from that LARP asked for help casting at Evensong, where I met Mike (Swoop). He brought me to Black and White, and the rest was history.

V: Please tell us a little bit about the characters you play in Realms and we’d also be very interested to know if any aspects of your identity informed your character-making decisions.

C: Absolutely! I'd say Clove was a happy accident. I wasn't intending to hit more than one game as her, and I wasn't familiar with the rules, so her personality grew organically.

Clove's a Japanese maple tree dryad, who's recovering memories from when she was a member of Dirn's grove. She's chaotic- an infamous mushroom dealer, and is definitely a plant-species activist. She's gone through a lot, with her whole grove being burnt down in the That Which Escapes Us plot, which is a great segue to my alt, Muusha.

Muursha was formed very intentionally. Across D&D and LARPing, I don't love the concept of inherently evil or stupid races, ie, orcs. We all know it's a racist trope, so I created a character to create a more elaborate narrative and create space for others who want to identify with it.

Muursha is my strong, wise, warrior-achivist. Her culture is very torn between those who are older- honor in combat, strength as a way of choosing a leader, listening to elders- and the younger generation, which has seen elves and dwarves and has decided to mirror some cultural aspects. Younger folk value intellect, the ability to craft things, and creating a sustainable community. 

Her personality makes her a bridge between the groups, and she has gone out into the world to share the stories of her people, and collect stories to create a library back home. 

In playing her, I break the "dumb fighter / dumb orc" trope. I find her really rewarding to roleplay as, and have had some very powerful interactions with others.

V: Do you find that challenging tropes with your characters is difficult in Realms? Have you run into difficulties because of it?

C: Actually, the opposite. I'd say one of the strengths of the realms is the ability to have multiple storytellers, and the amount of mentorship here. When I started playing Muursha, I got a lot of positive feedback from others. Hygar in particular told me about an in-game land that hadn't been mentioned in a while, an orc homeland, so I could tie my backstory to something pre-existing.

The only way people could do more is by helping me create content.

But the accessibility and encouragement has been huge.

V: Are there any difficulties you’ve encountered in LARPing/gaming communities in regards to your ethnic background that you are okay with talking about?

C: Absolutely.

So, first off, we don't have enough people at Realms to feel what it's like to have tokenism, or bias based on race. There's currently 5 people in the entirety of Realms that are people of color.

So the story I'd like to start with is from a previous LARP, where we had enough diversity to have backlashes.

I entered , and it's pretty obvious to anyone looking that I'm a Latina woman. This character was also very back to my roots, a a proud citizen of  the latinx country in the game.

The plot writer is also puertorican, and when I spoke in spanish in character to him, he was really excited for more people like him in the game, and gave my character some plot almost immediately.

Others were pretty upset. I was new, and sometimes, people didn't get plot for a full year. They felt like he was playing favorites, whereas he was working to elevate voices of other latinx people in the game.

A woman on the cast side got so much harassment over it that she left. There were rumors that she was providing him with sexual favors for access to higher visibility plots, better roles, etc.

On the Realms side, my troubles have not been in character. But as a person of color at Realms, it's very isolating. Fantasy was not created for people like me. Most of our plots are Eurasian. I haven't seen any African, Indian, or South American stories, nor any people of those cultures.

And, by entering this space and wanting that, the owness is on me to do that emotional labor and create that content with little to no support.

Oh, also, plots about colonialism or slavery aren't cool. My ancestors were colonialized and I don't know a damned thing about them because it's been wiped out by history. There's so many other options, and those plots break immersion for me and others. Please get more creative.

I'd like to wrap up this thought by saying, I haven't experienced discrimination based on my race at Realms. I feel an overarching, "it'd be nice to have more people like you / people of color" from a lot of the population.

V: Thank you for sharing all of that. I think you already stated some important ideas but I’d like to ask more directly, what can Realms event holders do to be more inclusive?

C: Absolutely! And I'll mention here that when COVID-19 passes and we start having events, I will publish a guide on recruitment to make our game more open.

So, I'm a big fan of pulling stories from other cultures, and there are ways to do this right. Talk to people of color, ask larp forums for guidance. As an example, you could write, "hey! I want to write a mexican-themed werewolf plot that is respectful and intricate, is there a Mexican plot writer who would be willing to come in with me on this?" 

Give people of color the opportunities to tell their stories. Share your trade with them, mentor them, and support them. These stories deserve to be told, and I cannot tell you how happy I was when Seis Manos, an anime that takes place in Mexico, aired.

Event holders specifically. I'd like to see more support. Believing people. Making events safe. 

I think we have problems that we, as a community need to address in order for diversity initiatives to work. Personally, I don't feel comfortable inviting people to the Realms. It can be a really great community, but in some ways, it's incredibly unsafe too.

I've asked others, "what events do you feel comfortable inviting women / queer folk / people of color to, and the list isn't long.

That's a pretty high bar, but at the same time, I want our community to thrive and be healthy for everyone.

I'd love to see a proactive approach from event holders that isn't reactionary to concerns that players bring up.

V: Given the opportunity to address the Realms as a whole, is there anything you’d like to say? The floor is yours.

C: Thanks, View staff. 

Yeah. I'd like to say that, while we have our problems, Realms players value community, initiative, and inclusivity. I see that in how open it is to childcare, and how anyone can host an event.

This last comment is a shout out to the white men reading this:

I know you care about equality in the Realms. Being a straight white man gives you enormous insight and expertise into how the Realms works for other people like you. It is your duty, as a member of this community, and as leaders, to figure out what it's like for other people and make sure everyone has a positive experience.

V: Thank you very much for your time!

C: Thanks very much 🙂









Monday, July 20, 2020

Meme Mondays

by the Meme Team



Friday, July 17, 2020

Home Questing - The Twelfth Task: Results

Hello and welcome to Home Questing, the twelfth task..  I previously released a set of puzzles into the world, so today won’t be the normal judging.  Instead, I’ll be reporting on how they were solved, and who earned what points.  We are going to start with the scores.

Kovaks was the first person to solve all of the puzzles (by 11 am on the friday they were released...and that was after telling me a link was broken) and earned 15 points (10 for the puzzles, and 5 for solving all of them.)

The second to finish was Cressida with 14 points.

The third person to finish all of the puzzles was DelHemar, and earned 13 points.

And the last person to finish all of the puzzles was Saka with 12 points.

Nobody submitted any answers that didn’t go on to finish all of the puzzles.

Now, let’s get on to the solutions.  Feel free to stop reading here if you wish to solve them later.

A Monster of a Time


In addition to the flavor text, there were letters  scattered about and 8 pictures on both sides of the letters.  To solve this, you had to connect images on the left side to images on the right side.  The way to connect was hinted at in the flavor text.  With hints of “threats” and “monsters” and “creatures and beings split up”, the flavor text hinted that you needed to make a monsters or threat’s name.  Other than some general monsters, most came from http://library.cityofivory.org/456/Threats.  The Monsters were:


Bed Lamb (Bedlam)

T Roll (Troll)

Asp Piss (Aspis)

Ware Wolf (Werewolf)

Fair E(or RHEEEEEE) (Fairie)

Path OS (Pathos)

Time Snarl (Time Snarl)

D Man (Demon)

After connecting them together, if you look at all non-crossed out letters, you get “Tournaments of Artemis” which was the solution.

Ocean Time:


At first glance, all the information is a bunch of times of low tide that don’t make any sense.  But if you read the flavor text, it hints at what you do with the times.  Through hints like “flags” and “hile waving my arms around”it hints at using semaphore.  So if you take each time on an analog clock, convert the hands on a clock to flags, it spells out “Bind The Tide” which is the answer.

The Harmonic Crystal


The flavortext suggests that some interesting word choice is involved.  In addition, it mentioned holding something to your ear and static.  These are supposed to hint to the NATO phonetic code.  If you pull those out of the text, you bet the answer “Best Forgotten”


Dear diary,

After what happened today, I just have to tell myself bravo.  I have been climbing these mountains for two weeks now and I have just now reached a building with other people in it.  And to echo my climbing instructor, “when you have a chance for a break, you should take it,” so I did.  Here I was in the middle of a sierra and there was a dance hall of all things, so I went inside.  And wow...there was already a party going on.  There were people dancing all sorts of dances.  Even though there was swing music playing, some people decided to do a tango, while other people did a box step, and other’s did the foxtrot.

Once I took in the scene, Oscar and Romeo greeted me.  And they asked me if I played golf of all things!  Can you believe the nerve they had, thinking that I would play such a sport?  After seeing how upset I got, Oscar decided to ask me to tango instead.  So tango we did.  And I was fantastic.  To echo what one onlooker said, “that was the best dance I ever saw.”  After talking with everyone in the dancehall, I had a few refreshments, and then set out again.  Hopefully, I’ll be back by November.

Talk to you tomorrow.

The Unseen Island


If you solve the nonogram, it looks like this:


At this point, this may not look like much, but there are a couple clues on how to proceed from here.  The title of the puzzle is “Unseen” and the flavor text mentions “blind” and “feel” which references braille.  If you treat this like you are reading braille, the letters spell LEARN TO FLY, which is the answer.

Looking Back


Every weekend was the same, yet drastically different.  Well, except the winter...it was a bit more spaced out then.  Today though it’s time to go down memory lane and remember the better times.  But after thinking about the past gatherings, what is it you just can’t wait for?

To solve this, you needed to use the answers to the previous puzzles.  They were


Ocean Time - Bind The Tide
Unseen Island - Learn To Fly
The Harmonic Crystal -  Best Forgotten
A Monster of a time -  Tournaments of Artemis

Once you had enough answers, you had to figure out what they had in common and what to do with them.  As hinted by “Looking Back”, “memory lane”, and “past gatherings”, each of the answers was an event on the realmsnet archive.  Once you figured that out, this section made more sense:

A = Ocean Time, but take the water part and make it the color of tar.
B = Unseen Island, but you’ll get there if you wait 6-8 days.
C = The Harmonic Crystal, but without the superlative...and it’s definitely not evil.
D = A Monster of a Time, but if everything was lined up in order by name, this was in line before it.

It was asking you to change from one even to another, using the requirements that stated.  Using that, we got:

A: Black Tide
B: Rhiassa Presents: The Gilded Lion Summer Festival II
C: Forgotten
D: Tournaments of Arsenal

Then, if you took the answer, and went that many letters into it, it would tell you which letter to extract, leading to the solution: Seeing Friends

And now, for the total scores so far:


DelHemar
125.5
Cressida
104
Saka
22
Laika en'Naur
20
Aeston, Areni, and Gwen
18.5
Kovaks
15
Bart
11
Iawen
11
Vawn
10
Syruss
10
Luc-Dubois Coupant
9
Osa
8
Kwido
6
J'reth
5
Nalydros
5
Rosetta
5
Sagart Hawkshade
5
Tarun Ul-Sikar
5
Thayet
5
Orion
4
Vanduke
4
King Alexander Cecil
2.5
Jace
2
Kara Nithisdottir
1.5
Thoril
1.5





Thursday, July 16, 2020

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Voices in the View

Q&A with Anthony "Razmith" Quintana


Tell us a bit about yourself.  What is your background?

Hello, My name is Anthony Quintana. I was born and raised in Chicopee, Massachusetts (Westie Land). I am Puerto Rican and African on my fathers side, and French Canadian, Scottish, and Seneca (Native American) on my mothers side.


How did you get into gaming/LARPing and specifically how did you end up being a part of Realms?

I got into gaming young playing Sega with my uncle and brother, and kept playing video games. My freshman year was the first time I played DnD in games club after school. In junior year I met Andrew Karcz who later introduced me to Kyle Greenough, and Kenneth Crowley and the Realms.


Are there aspects of your background that have informed or impacted a character you play?

Not really is the short answer. Could I have subconsciously chose for my character Razmith to be a half demon so that he would be looked at as different? Possibly, but I chose for Razmith to be a half demon because I thought it was cool and my first DnD character was a half celestial. I thought it would possibly lead to cool/interesting character interactions, which it has with things like the Angel/Demon duels between Guilliam and myself, or the cool interactions my character had in hell. My character Zoh'Ken is a Djinn because I thought the mythology behind djinni was cool. My other characters are human as far as I remember (though I think I may have a nephilem character that I played for one event) and I never factored in race in their creation.


Are there any difficulties you’ve encountered in LARPing/gaming communities in regards to your
background/identity that you are okay with talking about?

Wearing a chain mail coif with my long curly hair isn't the greatest, but other than that not really. Most if not all the people I've encountered have never made my race a big deal, which I'm glad about. I prefer to just be seen as another person at an event than to be the {insert race here} person at the event. Its never come up playing video games like WoW or table tops like DnD or Exalted.


What is something you think EH’s/GM’s could do to make our games more inclusive?  What is
something they should avoid?

I don't know what they could do to make our games more inclusive. From what I've experienced, when someone find things like fantasy, video games, anime, LARPing, or comic books interesting there usually are not any race or gender barriers to entry coming from the community, the only barriers I've seen are to know what your talking about and usually there are plenty of people happy to teach you about the subject you're interested in if you don't know too much about it. The biggest barrier I faced was my own worry about perception of being seen as a nerd/geek for liking these sort of things, which I mostly got over after I started playing DnD. But I remember when I started playing Realms and I was somehow even more shy and awkward than I am now Ray/Radstar told me something that helped me open up a bit. Which was that every one in the game no matter if they are a knight of this or king of that or how cool they seem, every one is a bigger nerd than you because they have been LARPing longer. As far as things they should avoid I would say they should avoid making a deal about people's real life background or bringing in real life current events/politics to games where people make up backstories countries and politics.


Is there anything else you’d like the opportunity to say to the community?

I believe most people are too sensitive nowadays about race and being politicaly correct. I've 
started to notice more and more people stopping themselves and wondering if what they said could be taken in a racial way even when the context make it clear that wasn't the case and that the intent wasn't racially driven either. I've seen conversations in other LARPs where people are accusing/questioning fantasy races like Drow or Orcs of being racist or racial stereotypes. Personally I like that LARPing and gaming is escapist fantasy and I would prefer it to stay that way. Context matters, if we were to see someone show up in actual blackface and start acting in black racial stereotypes, we would all be able to recognize it for what it is and I believe would take action accordingly, but if some one shows up wearing fancy or gothic clothes, drow face paint, pointy ears, and a silver wig and acts snooty and better than everyone else. Then we all know they are playing a drow. Basically I would like people to stop being so overly sensitive about these sort of things and return to just seeing people as people playing a game with them.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Rumors for July 1020

[Across the Realms]


If you Dream, you may recall this from a recent night.

You see a small child sitting on a beach, playing with a sand castle. They add ever more lifelike details with their small hands. The walls are sculpted with battlements and buttresses. As you peer more closely into one of the windows, you feel a sudden, cold splash. The sand begins to slough off the front wall of the castle as the seawater recedes from it. Another wave roars up onto the beach, slamming against the sand castle.  The front wall crumbles and collapses, the foundation underneath washing away. As the child looks up at you with tears in their eyes, the waves engulf the sand castle and it sinks into the ground.

[Other]


Here youngling sit down, you look exhausted, have a seat, just move that aside it won't bite you none. You the first one to come by for a while, please let me get you some tea. Have you heard that little one from the Bormer farm has gone and got herself married? I just can't believe it. She claims it happened last week, but no one has seen anything at all of a husband, What, how do I know?, you are right, I don't know, well wouldn't that be something, so anyway, no one has seen anything of a spouse, poor thing we think she is just not ready to introduce them to her family, can't be any worse than her brother going off and staying in that cave with that bear. But stranger things have happened here near the forest. Get down from there Grojo, you don't belong on the celling, fool beast thinks it's a bird or something, And did you see what the baker is doing, made a giant cake, said that someone was going to be by to collect it, that was a month ago, it's still in the window, now who has heard of a cake lasting that long, I tell you, some more tea, yes? Did you hear about the new couple in town, how tall do you think there children will be?, one of them must be over six feet if not more and them pointy ears, and the other barely up to my waist, but their beard wraps around them twice, I do say, that this world is getting more interesting by the day. You see how they look at each though, my stars, you just swoon. I think I might have some biscuits to go with that tea, hold on, hold on, yes, I hear the couple who bought the old coopers place, have a friend staying with them, do they really think they are fooling anyone? The friend moved in when they did, and you always see at least two of them together here in town, if not all three laughing together, but if that makes them happy, so be it. My my look at the time, hey look there, do you see all  pretty ones chasing after the blacksmiths boy, the way I hear it, he just has no idea what to do with them. He just wants to work and be left alone. Poor thing, but he seems happiest when he is alone, and that is ok. What? The skull? Don't you bother about that, some dark and souless type asked me to bury it after they left, but I have just been so busy, I am sure it's nothing dangerous. Now where was I, oh yes, the Blacksmiths wife needs to be more careful with who mends her pots if you get what I am saying, some folks, not me mind you, but some folks don't approve of that kind of thing. Me I say be happy be honest. More tea?

Monday, July 13, 2020

Meme Monday

by special guest memer Stephen "Laika" Sanford



Friday, July 10, 2020

Home Questing: The Thirteenth Task


Here is the form to submit your size changed object: https://forms.gle/KSurpdNsn7DpiCus6

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

NOTE!  I spoke wrong on the judging criteria for the video. The largest change of size of your object will win.

Transcript:

Hi all! Janus here and welcome to Home Questing the Thirteenth Task.  This week I am asking you to resize an object.  That is to make a small item large, or a large item small.  [note: I said the wrong thing while recording...this is what it should have said]  The largest change of size will win.  You have until Friday at noon, and your time starts...now.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Tao's Dealing School: Craps

by James "Tao" Murphy 

Craps, Seven-Eleven, or The Devils Dice

Craps is kind of a simple game with a lot of complex situations. I will start with the simple and go to the complex.

First is the most common type of bet. The pass line. You place a wager in the space labeled “pass line”. Someone then rolls the dice.

- If the total of both dice is 7 or 11 you win. How much you bet on the pass line is paid off at 1:1. And we start a new cycle.

- If the total of both dice is 2, 3, or 12 you lose. The bet is collected by the dealer. And you start a new cycle.

- However, if the total is 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 then the cycle keeps going. This is called “setting the point.” For our example let’s say the total is 6. The same someone rolls the dice again.
                - If the new total is that same as the point, 6, you win. Bets are paid 1:1
                - If the new total is 7 then you lose. Bets are collected.
                - If the total is anything else the dice are rolled again, and again, etc, until one of these two things happen: the point is rolled or a 7 is rolled.

Let’s discuss something called “backing up your bet”. Once the point has been set, you can choose to put more money behind your pass line bet. Clontarf casino allows up to 5 times the amount of the original bet. However, many people like to put up the same amount, or some lucky amount. The minimum is one gold. Now some numbers are less likely to come up then others. If the point is 6 or 8 then the back bet is paid 1:1, if the point is 4, 5, 9, 10 the back bet is paid 2:1. [Quick note: real-world casinos use different payouts but math is hard and most people do not bet in the increments that make sense, I have rounded out the bets to make it easy]

 - So, you bet 5 gold on the pass line. You roll the dice it comes up 7. You win. The cycle starts again. You keep your bet at 5 gold, you roll a 10, you decided to back up your bet with 5 more gold; Putting the chips directly behind your original bet. (You should never touch your original bet). The cycle is still going so you roll again and get a 9, nothing happens. The cycle continues. On the next roll you get a 10! You made your point! the pass line bet is paid 1:1 five gold! the back bet is paid 2:1 so you get 10 gold for that 5 gold bet. Back line bets can be removed between rolls, pass line bets cannot.

- So let’s say on the last roll you rolled a 7 instead of a 10, both the pass line bet and the back bet would be collected by the dealer.  This is called crapping out. The cycle ends and the dice are passed to the next player.

Looking at the board there is a lot more going on than just the pass line. Let’s first look at the “one roll” bets. Like the name says they are good for one roll only. They can be placed any time before or during the cycle.

- The field bet. This bet is probably the most popular one roll bet. This is a bet that the total of the very next roll will be a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, and twelve. It pays 1:1 except for if the dice total is 2 or 12 then it pays 2:1! You bet 5 gold it and the dice total are 4 you get paid 5 gold. If the dice total was a 12 you would get paid 10 gold!

- Boxcars, betting that the dice total will be 12. This pays 30 for 1
- Snake eyes: betting that the dice total will be 2. This pays 30 for 1
- Yo: betting that the dice total will be 11. This pays 15 for 1
- Ace-deuce: betting that the dice total will be 3 this pays 15 for 1
- Any craps:  betting that the dice total will be a 2, 3, or 12 this pays 8 for 1
- Any 7: betting that the dice total will be 7 this pays 5 for 1

You might notice that the language on the payout has changed a bit. 15 for 1, is different then 15 to 1. 15 for one means the dealer is giving you 15 chips but keeping your one chip, (or 30 for your 2 chips, etc) while 15:1 means the dealer is handing you 15 chips and you keep your 1 chip. Sometimes you will see boards that look slightly different because of this. 10 for 1 is the same as 9:1.

Last thing that you can bet on at the Clontarf casino is continuing bets. A couple of very important things about them; between rolls you can take them off if you wish, and they are considered “OFF” on the first roll of the cycle. This is because you are betting against yourself and will end up just giving the house money. While I don’t mind it’s only fair that you should know this.

- You might notice that there is a list of the point numbers on each side, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10. Some people have lucky numbers and like to bet on them when the point is some other number.

- They win every time the number is rolled once the point has been set. 6 and 8 are paid 1:1, and 4, 5, 9, and 10 are paid 2:1 (the same odds as the back bet).

- They lose if a 7 is rolled.

And finally, in the middle of the board are the hard ways. This is betting that a particular double is going to be rolled before the same non-double total is rolled, or a 7. This sounds a little confusing but let’s look at an example. So, you think double 4s are going to be rolled. You put 1 chip on the hard way. The next roll is a 4 and a 6, total of 10, nothing happens. The next roll is what you were hoping for 4 and 4. This bet pays 8 for 1, the dealer gives you 8 chips but takes your one that you bet.
             
Let’s say instead of 4 and 4, it was 6 and 2, for a total of 8. Because this is a soft way, the hard way loses. The dealer takes the chip off the bet. Or if a 4 and 3 was rolled than the bet losses as the 7 was rolled.

Because certain combinations are harder to make then others, or there are more “soft” combinations that can make it lose, the payouts are a little different by which hard way you want to bet.

                - Hard 4: pays 8 for 1
                - Hard 6 pays 10 for 1
                - Hard 8 pays 8 for 1
                - Hard 10 pays 10 for 1

If you look at the board, there are some spaces that we did not cover. At the Clontarf Casino these bets are not used for one reason or another.

- Don’t pass: this bet just reverses the whole cycle, wins on a 2,3,12 lose on 7,11, lose if point is made. This is betting against the other players and most think this is bad karma.

- Come: this bet if for impatient people. Basically, you would bet the come, if you want your own cycle. You get to the table and the point is already been set, but you want to be selfish and start your own cycle looking for that 7 on the opening role.

- Don’t come: impatient bet for people who the table are going to hate.

- Big 6/8. On my table it’s the same as betting the continuing bet 6 or 8. I don’t usually remember to look there for bets so please don’t use them. In real-world casinos their pay out is bad. The house edge on them is just designed to punish uneducated betters.

And that is craps! Simple game of betting with the cycle, taking risks that certain combinations will happen before others. Fun, lots of action. Hard to deal.


Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Voices in the View

Q&A with Edward "Redd" Lynch


Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Edward, I'm 25 at the time of writing this, and I am a very openly gay man. Most people in game know me as "Redd". My character is the High Mage of the Nation of Gau Dring, and is an incredibly sarcastic and pessimistic corpse being possessed/animated by the magic of a star in the constellation Ophiuchus.


How did you get into gaming/LARPing and specifically how did you end up being a part of Realms?

Sam Desrocher (Sybil of Invictus) brought me to a practice day of a smaller LARP located in Western Mass in April of 2014 after I had mentioned I wanted to get into D&D and the like, there I met Josh and Rose Fitzgerald and other LARPers who brought me to the Realms. My first event was the Tournaments of Creathorne that year.


Are there aspects of your background or identity that have informed or impacted a character you play?

Due to the fact that my Realms character Redd is more or less my first real LARP character, his personality is kind of an exaggeration of my own, for good or bad.  I'd always been a bit more withdrawn as a person, but through LARPing and meeting a lot of people I've definitely become far more outgoing than I was before.


Are there any difficulties you’ve encountered in LARPing/gaming communities in regards to your identity that you are okay with talking about?

I've not really encountered any difficulties due to my identity, personally. There have been the odd comments here and there when I make some risque comments, typically along the lines of "that was pretty gay" but typically my response is something along the lines of "That's the point." or "...and?"  and that'll be the end of it. But I would not say I've ever really been the target of any blatant homophobia. At least, nothings ever been said to my face.



What is something you think EH’s/GM’s could do to make our games more inclusive?  What is something they should avoid?

EH's/GM's could make the games more inclusive by actively removing and discouraging bigots from those games. They should avoid the logical fallacies of "we have to respect everyone's opinions" and "if we don't allow the intolerant in, it only makes us just as intolerant".

To the first: You absolutely do NOT. Opinions are for things like "I like/dislike coffee, the colour blue, or fish" not prejudice against marginalized groups. 

And to the second; No it does not. The bigoted dislike/hate/target people based on inoperable facts. People don't choose to be LGBT+ or to be part of certain ethnicities. These are fundamental parts of who they are, and cannot be changed. You can and should reject bigotry because they CAN choose to change their view and to not be that way, but actively refuse to learn and grow and change.

As a note as well, being a member of a marginalized community does not excuse you from your own bigotry.

Is there anything else you’d like the opportunity to say to the community?

Yes, overall I would like to say that I love the friends and family I've found in this community. LARPing has honestly gotten me through some pretty rough patches in my life, and I do not joke when I say the community and the people of this game have LITERALLY saved my life several times over. 

I've learned a lot about myself as a person from interactions with people in the community both in and out of game. I've had my viewpoints challenged, and have been forced to grow and change and hold myself accountable for my own biases.

Y'all have made some great strides in the recent years toward being better people, and a better community and I'm happy to have been a part of it, and I'm glad you're still moving forward.
Now in the words of my mentor, "Don't follow, keep up."

Monday, July 6, 2020

Meme Monday

by the Meme Team


Friday, July 3, 2020

Happy 4th of July (observed)

Happy 4th of July from the View staff. Enjoy your long weekend! We'll be back with more content on Monday!


Thursday, July 2, 2020

Home Questing: Task 11 Results

Hello, and welcome to the judging results for Home Questing, the Eleventh task.  This week, I asked people to pitch the most unique new Highbridge Class.  For those who are unaware, Highbridge is a University that teaches various skills to many people.  We received two entries, so let’s take a look at them.

First, from Cressida, we received The Art of Improv.

“Class/Flyer Description: Come join Cressida as she teaches you how to grab life by the *insert word here* as we say “yes” to Improv! This class is designed to help you dive deeper into character, NPC, and personal growth through Improv games that help you loosen up, have fun, get your creative juices flowing, and help you to accept new things more easily. We will work together to break down the walls limiting your creativity and encourage deeper roleplaying in the Realms at large. “

The full syllabus can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/164HziWxiWUM81qFUH7zFsBChWyA7LqV9zquzVWu-ojQ/edit?usp=sharing

Next from DelHemar is Quaffing and Questing: an exploration of food and drink to stay healthy, hardy, and hydrated on the battlefield and beyond.

And finally, from Janus is Brains and Barriers: Overcoming the puzzles and wards between you and your goals.

Completely coincidentally, shortly after I assigned this task did the Knights of the Sable Dragon announced their training day.  So, I reached out to Kovaks to help determine which of these classes are the most unique.  Take it away Kovaks.

Greetings, Friends,

It is no secret that I am ever thirsty for knowledge and looking to learn as much as possible from as many people as possible. This is why I was excited to help Janus as the judge for this week’s Home Questing.

The three entries all sound like very interesting classes to take as well as to teach. I hope to see all three of these submissions featured in the Knights of the Sable Dragon Training Day so that I have the opportunity to learn. But the criterion for this week isn’t interesting or informative, it is unique. And that is the only thing that allowed me to judge.

The most unique class (5 points) of these three is Quaffing and Questing. This is a combination that I have never heard of being formally taught before and I think would contain new information for everyone participating.

The second most unique class (4 points) is Brains and Barriers. I think I have seen a class like this offered once before at University of Highbridge, but it was probably being taught by Janus then as well. Or maybe it was a class of how to create such barriers to the puzzlement of others. Regardless, this is a very strong runner up.

The third most unique class (3 points)  is The Art of Improv. This class sounds very interesting and would contain a fantastic combination of informative and entertaining content. However I suspect similar classes are taught at institutions outside of the University of Highbridge. That said, I think that Cressida would put her own spin on the class by explaining how these skills can be used in an adventuring setting rather than a stage meaning that even though it is today’s honorable mention, it is still a class that I would eagerly sign up for if given the chance.

Thank you, all, for your class submissions. Thank you, Janus, for giving me the opportunity to judge. I hope all three contestants, as well as everyone else with something to teach, signs up to teach at Training day [https://forms.gle/CwARWSBmM1JbAJjaA]

Yours in service,
Kovaks

Thank you so much Kovaks.  It was greatly appreciated.  My views tend to mostly align with Kovaks on this one.  I feel the class that takes first place (5 points) is DelHemar’s Brains and Barriers.  It is a class I haven’t heard of before, and on top of that, is one that I would love to attend to see what tips for the battlefield there would be.  Other than Bananas.  I hate Bananas.  In second place (4 points) I would have to give points to The Art of Improv.  It would be a really interesting course that I can see myself taking and learning a bunch from it.  Unfortunately, it also is something that I have heard of before.  And finally, once again I have to disqualify Janus.  He made me go running this morning instead of sleeping in, so I am disqualifying him for this reason.

Including the bonus points for the curriculum, and the point for participation, that brings us to this weeks scores:

DelHemar with 11 points, and Cressida with 18.

Stay tuned for next week, when I publish the answers to the puzzles I had released (if you haven’t tried them yet, you can right here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Of3CqsNW5rWFCEyGw04aaLgryKMb5JAqONuSvgS5_j8/edit?usp=sharing  ).  You have until Wednesday at noon to earn points for the task.