Friday, September 30, 2011

The Arilic Observer

The true warrior fights from the Mind not the Heart.

The heart is no more than a tool to feed the mind; be that through loyalty, passion, revenge, love, or even competition. A man who fights only with the heart is blinded to his surroundings and himself. He only thinks about why he is fighting and not how to engage and actually win the fight. The brain however, when trained and fed by the proper motivation, is the deadliest weapon a warrior can have and is the core of the warriors fighting. In the end, it does not matter how quick or strong you are (though those are contributing factors). The brain is quicker, stronger, and smarter than any muscle in the body and should be used to its fullest. A true warrior is always the student and never the master. The true warrior knows he can always learn more and can never truly master any combat form, being that there is Always room for improvement.  So, the next time you draw your sword and go blindly charging into battle, think not of what you are killing but what you’re allowing to live.

Article written by:

Disciple William Althorne of Grimloch

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Why I Want to Go- Tournaments of the Void 2

Tournaments of the Void 2
October 2, 2011 (Sunday 12pm) - October 2, 2011 (Sunday 7pm)

A follow-up to the Tournaments of the Void held earlier this year, this looks like "more of the same". If you like lots of fighting in tourneys then "more of the same" means awesomeness! From all accounts about the previous event, it was a rousing success so expect more fun. As mentioned in the event write-up, this is the last event wherein you can gain points for the Order of the List, so if you need some points to make the final list this is your last chance...and your last chance to keep all those nipping at your points down! Either way, the fighting should be intense.

Of note is that casters can still participate in all the tourneys without breaking their spell restriction, so there is nothing holding anyone out of the fun!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Why I Want to Go- Autumn's Twilight Harvest Festival

Autumn's Twilight Harvest Festival
October 1, 2011 (Saturday 12pm) - October 2, 2011 (Sunday 5pm)

This looks to be a throwback to the old-style of Realms weekend. A full weekend of questing during the day, followed by a feast, with even more questing that night. Even better is that the next day has even more questing, but before that has an awesome pancake breakfast as part of the event fee. In fact, I'm not sure how they are going to be able to provide 2 full meals and 2 days of questing all for only $20, but its not my money so I won't be losing the money.

As for the questing, it does not appear to be part of an ongoing plotline. This means we (new and old players) can all go without knowing what to expect. We can all be astounded by what we encounter without any preconceived notions. And we can all discover the quest together. This should be a really good weekend of fun!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Why I Want to Go- The Price of a Soul

The Price of a Soul
September 30, 2011 (Friday 7pm) - October 1, 2011 (Friday 1am)

This looks to be full of questing goodness. And best of all, it is personal! There are a bunch of souls and character's free will on the line for this quest; this always helps to add a bit more relevance to a quest. The plot with Orcus has been ongoing for a bunch of years now and this looks like a way to clean up a lot of the loose ends. With another good questing/feast event on the same site the next day this is a good way to start a weekend of fun.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Question of the Week - 7

Why did you join the group your character is currently in (or opt not to join a group if you are an independent)?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Outside the Realms - 9/23/11 Roundup

Here is a roundup of some interesting articles from around the internet that deal with LARPing. 

Umstead Park hosts epic battles
The North Raleigh News has an article by a writer who went to a LARP in his area of North Carolina. It was interesting reading an outsider's view on what we do. One of the people he talked with said, "You can sit around and play video games all day all by yourself, but with friends and being around people and stuff, it's way better." You can find the article here.

LARP: Prayers on a Porcelain Altar
From the UK we have a look at a different type of LARP style. There is no boffer combat, but it still may be of interest to some of our player base. Basically, you play the character of someone who just woke up with a hangover after a party. From there things go downhill. You can find the article here.

Screw It, I'll Play Make Believe
The Documentary Channel is doing a, well, a documentary on LARPs. I am not sure what cable channel that is in our area, but if someone manages to catch it, can you let us know how it is. Of course, it is airing at 2am. You can find the article here. 

Advice for First-Time Roleplayers
Over at the website Lizzie Stark, they give some pointers for players about to attend their first LARP. There is some good basic advice there for newer players such as "When in doubt, just introduce yourself". You can check out the article here. They also have an older article on being a first-time event holder here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Fighting Chance - Bois/Bedlam/Infinite Dark by Leanne "Faelinn" Hoffman

Welcome to "A Fighting Chance".  This article series is dedicated to various threats of Realms and how you can become involved.

Threat: Bois/Bedlam/Infinite Dark
Plot Masters; The Fae Staff (Matthew Brenner, Sean Veale, Dave Martin, Janna Oakfellow-Pushee, Doug Fisher, Karen Veale, Laura Hoffman)
Plot Start: ~2004

What are bois?  Simply put, bois is the stuff of the plane of Bedlam. Bois is a moving darkness, thought to be uncaring and singularly driven to absorb and consume everything it touches.  Rel Zhirah coined the phrase "Infinite Dark" when trying to describe the seemingly endless masses of Bedlam bois.

There is so much information and history available, we cannot begin to cover it all in this article.  Here are some things to start you off.

The Monsters:
When you stare into the Darkness, the Darkness stares back...

An "infinite moving mass of darkness" does not sound like much, but pieces of Bedlam and bois have changed and adapted to become different types of darkness.  All bois are entirely black (black garb/clothing with no exposed skin) and are completely silent (do not verbalize shots).  Often you will see bois before you hear them coming.  Most bois can be killed with normal weapons, but it may take a few blows to destroy them (typically have 1 or 2 point sectional armor).  Some specialized bois have long tentacles, giant "brains" or a corrupting touch.  These are usually easy to pick out as they look very different from other bois (specialized garb and accessories).

The Plane of Bedlam sometimes leaks into other worlds, bringing bois with it.  Bedlam itself is incredibly dangerous, as to die in Bedlam is to die forever (you receive 3 ticks if you die in Bedlam).  Fortunately, Bedlam is usually easy to spot (black plastic with purple light sticks) and avoid.  Spells do not work in Bedlam and no one who enters can speak.  It is rumored Knights of the Eternal Flame, Knights of the Realms and Magi of the Realms' powers are able to work there.  (Calls of "Knight!" and "Mage!" are able to be called in Bedlam if you are part of those orders)

So you are set to fight bois, but what do you bring?

Weapons of any type will be the most helpful, as most common bois are affected by normal weapons.  Some specialized bois require Northern Light (special gifts from Father Yule), silver or magic weapons to take them down.  Silver weapons wielded while wearing hematite rings are specifically useful against Soul Leech bois (gives you the weapon call Soul Channel), allowing you to draw out the souls they have taken.

Bring those shields and armor!   While bois are incredibly aggressive and relentless, they typically cannot pierce through armor or break shields.  Wearing armor can mean the difference between stopping the tide and being swept up by it.

A friendly Channeller's "Protect the Soul" spell will prevent possession from Puppetmasters, who can control unattended dead bodies.  In Chimeron, morticians can also preserve the corpse of a fallen ally from such attacks.

Do not go it alone.

Swarms of bois have been known to cut off wandering adventurers, making rescue very difficult.  Some specialized bois even know tactics and will use their numbers to their advantage.  Expect bois around every corner and pouring forth from every crevice.  Be wary chasing a lone bois, as you might be running into a trap.  There are scarce few places they cannot enter.

Do not become discouraged if your weapon seems to have no effect.  Their shapeless nature hides the damage they have taken (they do not call out armor), but they are not invincible.  Many bois are hardy against attacks and will take multiple hits before dispersing.

Be sure to quickly communicate the appearance of specialized bois.  These bois are most dangerous when their presence goes unnoticed, allowing them to attack unhindered.  Once these threats are identified, appropriate counter-measures can be taken before these specialized bois can cause too much damage.

Who to talk to:
Knowledge will always light the way.

Want to know more?  There are a few people who are at the forefront of this threat.  Try to catch them at feasts or via missives.  Good people to talk to are Faelinn Shadowmoon, Rel Zhirah, Bright Oakfellow and Malaki of Folkestone.  The Library of Ivory also contains many documents, in case you want to learn more in depth information about Bedlam and bois.

Do you have a threat you want to see covered?  Let me know, so we can give other people a Fighting Chance!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Why I Want to Go- Festival of Everguard

Festival of Everguard

September 24, 2011 (Saturday 12pm) - September 24, 2011 (Saturday 10pm)

This looks to be a laid back tourney event with some role-playing thrown in at the end. They will be testing both fighters and spellcasters as well. It is always good to have a bunch of tourneys designed to challenge spellcasters as this is not done all that often. I personally have not been to this event site, and I suspect a lot of other people have not also. It is always fun to explore new sites; it keeps things shiney. If the day is warm enough there is even a place to swim on site! This looks to be a fun day designed to challenge the players.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Why I Want to Go- The 6th Annual Tournaments of Chaos

The 6th Annual Tournaments of Chaos: Are you good enough to make the List???
September 23, 2011 (Friday 8pm) - September 25, 2011 (Sunday 4pm)

A whole lotta tourneys goin' on! 38 different tourneys on the list with more lined up if there is time for them. Of note is the fact that a lot of the tourneys will be included in the Order of the List rankings, so if you're close on points or just want to see some good fights this should be the place to be. One thing I like is that there are 5 subjective/role-playing awards to be given out at the event; I've always liked those and wish they were given out more often. Looks like there will also be some questing on Friday and Saturday night. And to top it all off there will be feast food as well. It looks like this event will have everything covered.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Question of the Week - 6

How do you describe Realms to the mundanes in your life?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Stick Jocks and Paste Eaters

One of ours wrote an interesting article on the topic of Stick Jocks and Paste Eaters on her own blog, Its Dangerous to Go Alone Take This. For purposes of the article she defines Stick Jocks as those who LARP primarily for the combat and Paste Eaters as those who LARP primarily for the role-playing. She also mentions that in her eyes the majority of LARPers fall somewhere in between. She also goes into what each type is looking for in a LARP and how they can interact with others. It is a good read and I recommend taking a look at it.

The site has another good LARP/Realms article up. I know some have seen it already but here is a link to that article as well.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

10 Questions - James "Letheris" Murphy

This series is going to run twice a month, on the 1st and 15th. This a second series of 10 Questions. 

James "Letheris" Murphy

Photo by Frank Rapant
How long have you been playing?
A long time
My first "light weapons" experience was a practice at Keene State Collage in 1980 or 81. My first "quest" type event was 1984 with the same group, I only started playing regularly, when Mid-Realm in Weare, NH opened in 86. I went to my first "Realms of wonder" event in the summer of 95 after I came back from the Air force.

How has the game changed since you've been playing?
There are girls at events. It is a more safe game now, some of the early stuff we did I am amazed that more of us did not get seriously hurt. Also plots have come a long way, some of the early quests were go kill the monsters and get the treasure.

Who have you learned the most from?
Joel Jennings AKA Sir Barabas. but I have not seen him at any events since the early 90's when I went to an early Nero event.

What was your best moment IC?
Just recently becoming a Knight of Blackwood.
What was your best moment as a NPC/EH/Player?
I was in the "dungeon" at Mid-Realm, we had a rope/plank bridge over a "sewer" I was across the room with a bow and one arrow. When the party first started crossing the bridge I fired the arrow really hard at the lead person's shield. It made a fantastic loud sound. The party screamed one fell in the "sewer" and the rest went back around the corner. For the next 15 min I held them back with the bow and faking another arrow by putting my sword on the guard and yelling at them to keep it dark.  

What would you like to see changed or developed more in game? 
Cross plot, it make is feel more like one big world.

Photo by Dustin Mack

What advice would you give new players? 
Learn to fight before you learn how to cast spells. Try to get some garb even its just cutting up an over size T-shirt to make a tunic it will be something and it will be appreciated. Make a rule that you will NPC every third time you PC.
What do you love most about the game?
Landing a shot, the tougher the better.

Who would you like to see the next interview be with?
Amber/Yipp, or Chris/Jaha. Someone who I think of as young but have years of experience.
Anything else you'd like to take the opportunity to put into print?
Thank you for everybody that I have every fought with, talked to, drank with, hit in the face, or hit me in the crotch. Because of you I have had a great time. See you around the fire (or non-fire).

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Why I Want to Go- On the Brink

On the Brink: The Village Out of Time
September 17, 2011 (Saturday 1pm) - September 18, 2011 (Sunday 6pm)

Two full days of questing! And the event price is awesome! This is going to be a 24 hour live site, though there will apparently be an OOC camping area for those who would rather sleep than be in character late at night. 24 hour live sites can be a lot of fun as it really helps with immersion and adds another level of challenge. It also looks like it will be bloody and gory, always a lot of fun. The new combat calls are pretty dangerous so the players will have to be extra careful. The site is also "damp" so people can chill-out with some alcohol, though I'm not sure how this will interact with a 24 hour live site. Overall, this looks like a challenging and fun weekend of questing goodness.

As mentioned yesterday this is a good event site for questing. There are plenty of places to quest and camp in. It is also fairly secluded so the fear of angry mundanes is negated. As already mentioned there are several new combat calls and sub-systems in place (you can go insane!) so it is advised to take a look at the official write-up. Also mentioned yesterday, take a good look at the directions since a nearby bridge is out.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Why I Want to Go- Welcme to Fairhaven

Welcme to Fairhaven: Bringing back the Stag Party
September 16, 2011 (Friday 6pm) - September 17, 2011 (Saturday 12am)

This looks to be a good nightquest to be followed by some social fun around the firepits. The quest appears to be something new wherein earthen creatures and flying beasts are endangering the local populace. Looks like there will some things to figure out as well. There is another quest event on the same site the next couple of days so this will be a nice way to ease into a full weekend of questing. This sounds like a good place for adventurers to be.

The site is good for large events. The camping areas are huge with expansive fields. The questing trails are long and twisting through the woods which helps bring out the right feel for any type of nightquest. This is a "damp" site so alcohol is allowed and it should be a good time around  the fire after the nightquest is over.
Be aware that GPS may not function completely since the bridge near the site is still out, so it is recommended you take a look at the directions in the event write-up.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Question of the Week - 5

Do you think we should have "witchcraft rules"?  If so what ooc items do you think should fall under them and which do you think should be allowed?
Editor: For the newer players, the term "witchcraft rules" applies to out-of-character items and actions, such as flashlights, cameras, t-shirts with modern day logos, talking about the latest video game, etc.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Outside the Realms - Kingdom of Diddorol

Today we're going to take a big step away from the Realms and take a look at something unique that is happening in "our backyard". The Kingdom of Diddorol is a fictional fantasy world wherein there are multiple provinces, a back story for each, a barter and trading system, character classes and levels, and quests to pursue. It is mostly run on-line and there is a single Gamemaster, but much as a LARP, there are some real world locations the players can go to and play at. Where is this place? The Middle School in Barrington, NH (about 15 minutes from my house).

This is a project set up by an English teacher as a means to promote language. Each province is meant to highlight one of the Six Traits of Writing. A player gains experience and items not only through barter but writing as well. Writing a set number of pages earns points. These points are augmented by writing within certain constraints (such as genre), having the right tools (word wands-pencils, Janus tome-notebook, etc) and timeliness.

All together this looks like a teacher trying to make writing fun, exciting and something more than just an assignment to hand in. I find it fascinating he has chosen to go with an rpg or LARP type of style. A link to his web page can be found here. Did I mention one of the provinces is named Dolphinia; is this guy a genius or what?!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Plot View - The Red Tide

This series is where we take a look at one of the ongoing plots to be found within the Realms. This article is from one of the plot-holders and is a good basis for gaining some fundamental information about the plot.
The Red Tide:
Anyone may participate in combating the Red Tide.
The Red Tide are an extra-dimensional threat intent on eradicating life on all worlds.
They have recently discovered the Realms, and have started to set up here to kill everything.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Why I Want to Go- Folkestone Questing 2011

Folkestone Questing 2011: Killing Stories
September 10, 2011 (Saturday 12pm) - September 11, 2011 (Sunday 5pm)

Note: The author of this preview is a member of the event staff for this event.
This will be a pure quest event with fights galore, puzzles to solve and even a chance at some role-playing. The quest for this event is a new one so this is a good place for players to get in on the ground floor; no previous knowledge is required. In the past, the events have thrown a wide variety of challenges at the players and this is likely to continue again this year.

The site of the event has been used for many years now. It is large and has varied terrain without being overgrown. You never know where you will be sent to and what to expect on the site...or by the quests themselves.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Why I Want to Go- Feast Of Folkestone XII

Feast of Folkestone XII: We'll Show YOU the Beef!
September 9, 2011 (Friday 6pm) - Spetember 10, 2011 (Saturday 1am)

Note: The author of this preview is a member of the event staff for this event.
One of the longest running feasts in the game, it always has good food and a good time. This year should have a lot going for it. There is a scheduled tourney to be had outdoors and it promises to be unique for both the participants and the spectators, especially since the spectators can change the fights. There will be in-character gambling on the fights, as well as the casino running inside. These might be some good ways to gather up some in-character cash just in time for the auction to be held later in the evening. The auction is always a good time, so bring the gold you've been squirreling away. There is no scheduled questing planned, but you never know what might show up.

The food looks to be varied and the event-holders have promised an abundance of food. I've seen the menu and it looks like there should be something for everyone on it. The cooks involved have been cooking for many years so it should all be tasty. With another event the next day on the same site, this is a good way to start the weekend.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Question of the Week - 4

What character that is no longer active do you miss most? Share a story about them.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fight Outside Your Comfort Zone by David “Callin” Dolph

Photo by Hepsik
For a variety of reasons people tend to stick with one weapon type/style. Perhaps it is because of a weapon restriction due to spell casting. Sometimes it is because the weapon is what they first trained in. Sometimes they just feel as if their chosen weapon is the best one for them. Whatever the reason, there are a lot of good reasons to break out of using the same weapon type all the time.

Here are 5 good reasons why you should practice with other weapon types:

Thursday, September 1, 2011

10 Questions - Abe "Ranger" Passardi

This incarnation of the View from Valehaven is bringing back the 10 Questions format wherein we ask a player 10 questions so we can all get to know them a little better. This is the first of the series.

Abe "Ranger" Passardi 

Photo by Robyn
How long have you been playing?
Since 1993 right out of high school and into a life long LARP

How has the game changed since you've been playing?
The fighting has not changed but the spell system has changed many times. Spell caster were a lot more powerful back in earlier years; almost anyone of them could alter the path of a event. Now spell casters only play a secondary roll in the game as helpers to the fighters.

Who have you learned the most from?
There could not be just one person in this question- Jason Gray(Baba), Andy Disbro, Steve(Shadow), Jeremy Grayson(Night Hawk), PJ, Matt(Zula), Jerermy(Crow), Kelly(Twin), Randy, and many more.

What was your best moment IC?
When the God(Garic) of Magical gates and Nature came to me and showed me the world through his eyes and how many worlds and planes there are out there. Not only did he teach me of them but how to open magical gates to the worlds and planes; at that time I became a apprentice to a god which was very cool! I learned that the world I was in was only one of many worlds and as that knowledge grew I learned I have a much bigger duty to keeping the balance, not just in one world but all worlds and planes. So I started out on my quests set forth by my God (Garic). 
To learn of these worlds and planes and to ask the gods or ruling immortals of these worlds or planes if it is ok for me to come and go freely form there home worlds or planes. This is my characters main quest, the more worlds and planes I get access to, the more freedom I have to help these areas. I was told by Garic when I am ready to transcend into a immortal (Lesser Godhood) then any plane or world I have not gotten permission to most likely I will not be able to go there at all. At this time my character becomes a NPC and I would have to make a new character lol not something I am planing on doing for a very long time. But it would be cool to be written into the game's history and one of the gods. For now I am an inter-planer defender/explorer.

What was your best moment as a NPC/EH/Player?
NPC- I was playing an orc and there was a horde of us chasing a very large group of players. They were all running away and the horde stopped chasing them but I did not. When the players stopped running and turned around it was just me left and the tide of the battle changed very fast as they chased me the other way with them being the horde now! That was so much fun when they turned around and there was only one orc still chasing them.
EH- When I made a night quest with two paths one physical and one mental. Only 5 people took the physical path and I still hear about it how much they loved it. It had a zip-line, 4 rope swings and an area that you had to climb uphill on a rope over water. If you fell off any part you got washed down stream back to the beginning to start again.
Player-It was up at Creathorne in a plastic dungeon. I came upon a group of 8 new players and they were at a room with 6 monsters. The new people were trying to get into the room and I came up and asked if they wanted some help, of course they said yes. I attacked and quickly lost all my limbs. I was then dragged into the room of monsters with no limbs. The new people though it was over at that point. I healed my limbs in the back of the room and stealthily took out 2 of the four monsters. Then a third and then attacked the last three in open battle and this point I said the room is clear you can come in now and the 8 new players with blank looks on there faces said who are you and I said "They call me Ranger" that was a good memory of helping people. They were amazed that I cleared the whole room by myself.

Photo by Robyn

What would you like to see changed or developed more in game?
I love questing events, and events that help define everyone's characters to new levels. The game is limited in progression but not in things that could progress a character's own story line. I think magic items in the game are one of these things that help develop a character past the limits of the basic game levels. I think magic items should not just go away and they are part of the history of the characters and the game and should stay in. If a EH does not want a certain item in their event then just say no to it and the player puts it away till the next event.

What advice would you give new players?
Explore, Adventure, Take chances, Talk to people, Laugh at the absurd, and Cherish the memories you walk away with.

What do you love most about the game?
The people that make this all possible, the ones holding Events. The ability to cast a spell and see if it effects things around you.

Who would you like to see the next interview be with? 
Kelly Bonci

Anything else you'd like to take the opportunity to put into print?
Thank you all that keep coming to these events, they would not happen without constant participation. Bring more people in every chance you get and keep the game going.