Monday, June 21, 2021

Meme Mondays

 by the Meme Team

Friday, June 18, 2021

Spell-o-gram 3

The following is a cryptogram. Like most cryptograms you are tasked to figure out the very basic cypher in order to solve the puzzle. Unlike most cryptograms the clue you are trying to solve is a spell description from the Omnibus. Try to figure out what spell it is! If it doesn't load correctly for you Click Here.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Morning Coffee Break

 Got your morning cup of coffee and a few minutes? Great! We're trying out a new feature at the View - we're going to be asking a series of questions and we want to know your answers! The question is posted below. So while you sip your morning beverage of choice, ruminate on this one:

It's June, and June always meant North/South War. What's your favorite memory from fighting on the tournament fields at Lone Tree?

Head on back to Facebook and let us know in the comments!

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Five Questions About Getting Back Part 3

The time will soon come when we will sit beside one another around the late night campfire, raise goblets together as we feast, or cross swords on the field of war, and all of us are looking forward to the day where we are safely and responsibly playing Realms together again. Thinking of the better days are just around the corner, we asked you some questions about getting back to playing Realms. 

Answers by: Alex Cannamela and Brookelyn Gingras

In your time away from Realms, what have you been spending your hobby-time on instead of going to or preparing for events? 

Alex: I spent a lot of time getting back into music.  I bought a synth, acquired a clarinet, and have been playing pretty much daily.  I've always been musically inclined, but it has been really good to consistently sit down and really practice instead of just futzing around for an hour or two every so often. 

I also was able to get more into brewing; while I was doing that before the pandemic, I was able to branch out more and do different drinks and larger batches as I got better.

I've also had more time to do some projects around the house, and have been working on that.  The biggest one was putting a pond into the backyard; we also cleared some space for a garden.  I've learned a good deal about taking care of plants (or, perhaps more accurately, what NOT to do) and hope to have an even better garden this season.

Spiced mead starting on the stove and prickly pear wine ready to drink.

Brooklyn: What HAVEN'T I been spending my time on? Crotchet, bee school, gardening, weaving, fostering kittens... oh, you mean the LARP-supplement hobbies? Well, I've had a lot more time for table-top role play games for starters.  Turns out, it's a lot easier to coordinate schedules for regular sessions when nobody has much going on. I'm playing my first-ever druid character in DnD (I know, it's been a LONG time coming). She's an eco-terrorist, it's great. I've also started playing Rangers of Shadowdeep - highly recommend that one (no DM required!). So I'd say I've been keeping up with the murder-hobo life.

One of the 50 million pictures of cats on Brooklyn's Facebook wall.

Accepting as fact that there are lots of things that we have all missed, what have you missed the most about being at Realms Events? 

Alex: I've missed the community the most.  Most of us are still in contact over the internet, but for me at least it's not the same.  I've made some really great friends playing Realms, and I miss them all.

Brooklyn: Dungeon Masters don't typically throw their players a feast, so that's surely to be missed! But even more than good food and good people, I miss the action going down over to the side. Shady deals, secret passageways, an undiscovered puzzle, or maybe even a story. The best times I've had at events were the unplanned schenanigans inspired by opportunity or even boredom. I have particularly fond memories of sneaking into a speakeasy...

A face that says "I'm up to shenanigans".

Are there are plots or specific events or anything that you are particularly looking forward to for after the Realms gets going again?

Alex:  While I love PCing in plots, I'm looking forward to getting back to staffing events.  I'm looking forward to those inevitable moment of the PCs trying something unexpected, and rolling with it as an NPC maybe a little bit too much.  I'm looking forward to having to deal with player shenanigans as a magic marshall.

And while this is a ways off, I'm looking forward to Leviathan prep with Rhiassa again.  As much as we jokes about how labor intensive it might be, it's something I look forward to each year.

A sample of what is waiting for Alex when she shows up for Leviathan prep.

Brooklyn: Returning to explore new and exciting lands! Many seasoned adventurers know the Realms like the back of their hands, but once we step through a portal or onto the shore of a new place, we all see it with fresh eyes. And what wonders we have seen! I have learned so much of Teng Hua's rich culture, and yet I know that I have only scratched the surface (I have the BINGO card to prove it). And Gi - what mysteries lie within those starved lands? To learn even a little of an unexplored place like that is to know more than most.

Have you concocted any grand plans of any kind for once we can get back to Realms? Events you are planning or things you are going to do with your character? Any secret projects you've been working on that you want to give us a hint about? 

Alex: While I have to figure out a new date, I still plan on throwing the "Labors of Rawonam" event I announced right before we had to shut down.  The event is going to be war tournament with some mechanics that I think will be really interesting.  We've worked pretty hard to create a system that offers something for everyone while still firmly centering the war tournament aspect of the event.

Brooklyn: Well if I were, I wouldn't be dropping spoilers now would I?? But I can shed light on one particular weaving project that I'm hoping will see the light of day at an event - if I can keep the sigil from ending up looking phallic, that is... 

Although even if I don't finish it in time for events to start up again, I'll at least have the pleasure of bringing the loom along to show off around camp.

What mystery is being plotted here on Brooke's loom?

Anything else you'd like to say to the Realms about this past year we've spent apart from each other or in anticipation of us seeing one another again?

Alex: This year really put into perspective just how important Realms is to me.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way.  So many of my friends are from this community, and even for an introvert like me it's been tough.

At any rate, I hope to see you all soon.  After all, one of my pandemic hobbies was getting more into brewing. I have a lot of mead but haven't had friends to share with and fire pits to share it around.  I'd like to fix it.

Brooklyn: I'd like to make big shout-out to the resiliency the Realms community has demonstrated in the past year, particularly with the quality and variety of virtual-event content produced. Some say Necessity is the greatest inventor, others say it is Boredom.  And when there was a necessity for entertaining virtual content, the Realms delivered! (And by that I mean a certain few dedicated EHs and their talented teams - you know who you are). But cheers also to the players who have stood by in patience while their favorite hobby was put on hold. Here's hoping we can all return with fresh eyes once the wait is over!

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Propping Up My Memories: Part 3

 by James "Tao" Murphy

I have my Katana, my bow, (strange that I call it that now) and a few coins, not enough, there is never enough. We have been asked to get back someone named Farfar. In his day he was a powerful wizard, but sometimes he forgets himself. He has run off and we have been asked to bring him back. We had been told he would probably have to be killed but they could take care of raising him. 

I had spent a few days in the woods by myself, well, not exactly by myself. I had company that I would not expect someone like myself to have. But that is another story. I had more coins than I think I had ever had in my life. I probably did not want to get involved in killing someone. But the town peoples begged us to help. So off we went. (when did I become one of the good guys?). 

We spread out searching the local woods where they thought he went. We first found some stray hungry wolves, a few goblins, and other minor threats. Not much of a contest, Just some bumps on the road. Judging by these early encounters we could handle anything. We had not yet realized that time itself was against us. 

We found what looked like an abandoned tower, just the kind of place a mad wizard would call home. It had a broken door, so we went inside. It was around lunch time when we entered but inside it was black as midnight. Well, almost midnight.  

When we went in. several of our magic users cast light spells and we could see we were in a large room, much too large for the tower we thought we entered. I immediately looked for a way out but did not see any. I wonder if this was another Oni, er, Demon playing tricks on us. I hoped I would not have to be covered in puss again. 

What I saw on the walls struck fear in me more than any Oni, demon, or goblin ever could: Puzzles, and switches, and knobs, and all over the wall’s things written with the common letters but in some kind foreign order as if it was some kind of cypher. Puzzles? why did it have to be puzzles? 

The only other thing in the room was up against one wall was a large clock. It was encased in dark wood and looked awfully expensive. I noticed the clock was moving and remarkably close to midnight. By the time I pointed this out, the minute hand moved to the 12 and it started to sound the hour.

What I saw on the walls struck fear in me more than any Oni, demon, or goblin ever could: Puzzles, and switches, and knobs, and all over the wall’s things written with the common letters. Obviously a cypher with very few letters filled out. Puzzles? why did it have to be puzzles? 

The only other thing in the room was a large clock up against a wall, I went over and noticed it was set to a few minutes to midnight I heard someone say “the cypher the F is really and E”, and someone else said, something about “these thee letter must be THE” by the time I turned back to the clock it was midnight and it started to make sounds like a small gong. 

 What I saw on the walls struck fear in me more than any Oni, demon, or goblin ever could: Puzzles, and switches, and knobs, and all over the wall’s things written with the common letters but in some kind foreign order as if it was cypher. But some of the cypher had already been solved? Puzzles? why did it have to be partially solved puzzles? 

I noticed a clock that was set to eight or so minutes to midnight. But as I was going over someone yelled out “that switch over there make sure it’s to the side that says weaker” a mass confusion broke out and I noticed that some of the party were changing where some of the dials and knobs were set. There seemed to be some spirited discussion on if the first switch should be set to “weaker” or “Stronger”. A Fighter that I did not know, had moved it too stronger. And they did not seem like they wanted to let it go. Another questor decided to attack the fighter so they could move the switch back to weaker but could not affect the fighter. While we were busy deciding on which way the switch should be set the clock in the corner stated to make a sound like a gong. 

What I saw on the walls struck fear in me more than any Oni, demon, or goblin ever could: Puzzles, and switches, and knobs, many had labels that were already deciphered but some were still blank. I also saw all over the wall’s things written with the common letters but in some kind foreign order. It was definitely a cypher. Quite a lot of it had already been solved but there were still several parts that had not been translated. Puzzles? why did it have to be mostly solved puzzles? What was the point?

I noticed a clock against one wall that showed it was about 15 minutes to midnight. Plenty of time to figure everything out. It was suggested that we had been looping back in time every time the clock struck midnight. And each time depending on how the switch was set; either Farfar would be stronger, or the party would be weaker. Because we did not know how many times we had looped, we had no idea how good or bad this was going to be. 

With just a few minutes to spare all the puzzles were solved. Knobs and dials and switches were set to the proper placement. We spread out and Farfar appeared in the center of the room. For an old wizard he looked to be in quite the fighting shape. He must have immediately cast a spell as all of us lost both legs and the use of some of our spells. At the same time, he seemed to grow in size and mystic armor now sheathed his body. 

A few of the questers tried to talk to him, remind him of who he was and that we were not the enemy. He responded by attacking them first. It was a tough fight, I got a few good arrow shots in, shots that would normally drop someone, but he seemed to shrug them off. Finally, he was down, with his death the room changed back to the ruined tower. With nothing to search we dragged his body back to town. They were happy to see us and rewarded us with a few coins. They promised not to raise him until we were clear. 


Grandfather clock

The party needs to bring Farfar back to the town. Alive or dead, (it will be dead). He has run off and the town is worried. The party will need to set several puzzles before the clock strikes midnight. If they don’t it resets back. Every time it resets it goes back two additional minutes. But once the sequence is completed a big bad appears named Farfar (grandfather in Swedish). He will be stronger or the party will be weaker, for every time the clock was reset. For instance, he will have more armor, more special calls, or something like everyone lose a leg, two legs, two legs and 1 arm, all armor is destroyed. All spells in your pool can not be cast. All spells in your third slot, fifth, second, fourth, sixth. Come up with more as we need it. There will be one two position switch that will be labeled (in the cypher) Stronger/weaker. It should be more central than the rest. While someone is holding the switch in one of the positions they can not be harmed by the rest of the party. (but they can by grandfather). This will determine each time its reset which will happen. As soon as a player grabs this switch a marshal will have to give them a micro briefing, “IC: the switch has to be in one of the two positions. If you start to move it, it will go to the other position, and OOC you will call no effect to any damage the party try to inflict on you while you are holding the switch, your PC does not know this and will expect to take damage”) 

The party enters an area that has several knob’s switches, dials, and a large grandfather clock that is set to 5 minutes until midnight and starts running as soon as they enter. There is a cypher (simple substitution) printed on the walls. Many, many pages of it. The cypher describes in what positions the knobs, switches, etc must be set.  There will also be a few more classic puzzles like a sudako or magic square to determine where some of the knobs and dials have to be set. It details that grandfather will appear at midnight when everything is correct. That every time you fail time will loop and make grandfather stronger. The clock is set to 5 minutes until midnight. And starts running. 

If Grandfather wins (unlikely but possible. The clock resets and we go again) Scene ends when grandfather is defeated, and the party can bring him back to town Dead.

The clock can be speeded up manually by a PC. However, that PC will be killed by doing this. They can be raised normally. 

Monday, June 14, 2021

Meme Monday

 by the Meme Team

Friday, June 11, 2021

Home Questing: The Final Results!!

 by Christopher "Janus" Donnelly

Hi all, Janus here and welcome to Home Questing.  Over the past 30 quests, we had 27 different people submit a wide variety of different tasks, involving puzzle solving, rituals, stacking things, and feats of strength to earn a shot at being one of the top 5 participants to get a prize.  And what are those prizes you may ask?

Well, there was a prize pool where each winner could make a choice from.

There was 500 gold gifted by Father Yule himself.

There was 250 gold gifted by the generous Tao.

There was “The blade of variance”

There was “The discarded stone”

There was divinations by Janus on a subject of their choice

And something else that wasn’t selected (so 5th place would have a choice)

So, with those prizes selected, let’s see who won!

In 5th place was Saka with 32 points.  A noteworthy submission of his was his week 1 entry for the most impressive stack:

In 4th place is Kovaks with 37 total points.  A noteworthy entry of hers was her participation in “Everything Janus Says is Wrong”:


 In Third Place is Laika en'Naur with 48 points.  A great entry was his edible recreation of bridge battles:

In second place was DelHemar with 247.5 points.  He participated in a vast number of the tasks, so one of the noteworthy ones is his haiku about Chimeron:

And finally, in first place with a whopping 280 points was Cressida, who didn’t miss a single week.  And here is her attempt at a nature based summoning which instantly came to mind when I thought of the tasks she had done:


 This is Janus, and I look forward to seeing you in the field.