Monday, October 31, 2011

Question of the Week - 12

What do you think about allowing alcohol at events?

Friday, October 28, 2011

The View From Vilehaven

Contract Negotiations Break Down
As Reported by I. S. Noop

Negotiations between the Monster Union #1624 and the Kingdoms of the Realms have broken down yet again.  Neither side seems willing to compromise.  Each side has three major points they are unwilling or claim to be unable to accommodate the other side on.
The Realms has demanded less feast disruption; they want a new limit of only two feasts per year.  Also on the table is the issue of special abilities that the monsters are capable of using.  The Realms wants at least 40% of attacking monsters to be effectible by any weapon type.  This would be an increase of 20%.  The third topic is the fact that the money monsters have been dropping has decreased instead of increasing over the last few years.  The Realms wants a larger drop rate on money to keep up with inflation.
The Monsters have counter offered with their own issues of contention.  The first demand is less ganging up on them in encounters.  They want a 4 hero to 1 monster ratio at maximum.  This would be a significant decrease from the usual 10 hero to 1 monster we’ve been seeing of late. 
The monsters have expressed a willingness to compromise on the issue of affectability, if the Realms is willing to use less armor.  The Realms countered with the fact that the monsters don’t actually have to wear armor to use it.
As for the money topic, the monsters claim they can’t drop what they don’t have.  They claim their solvency is spread too thin and they currently just don’t have the cash to drop.
This reporter doesn’t see an end to the crisis, but we will be watching this story closely.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What You Missed - Black & White 2011

Photo by Douglas Fisher

Photo by Douglas Fisher

Photo by Casey Lemay
Photo by Melissa Fitzgerald

Photo by Melissa Fitzgerald

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Why I Want to Go- Joys of Youth 2

Joys of Youth 2 - This Sandbox Ain't Big Enough for the Both of Us
October 29, 2011 (Saturday 12pm) - October 29, 2011 (Saturday 8pm)

This looks to be a quest event geared toward the newer players; especially since the already low price is free for those players who have been playing Realms for under a year. These are good events to better understand the Realms combat and spell system in a more relaxed environment. It also is a good opportunity to shine. Also due to the fact the event will be indoors and weapon length is limited to 5' maximum this means those who like to fight with smaller weapon lengths will be able to be more effective. All in all this is a good starter event to attend...or for those looking for a low key time.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Why I Want to Go- Feast of Blackwood II

Feast of Blackwood II: The Final Chapter of the Planar Shield?
October 28, 2011 (Friday 7pm) - October 30, 2011 (Sunday 4pm)

From what I have heard so far, this will be a full-bore questing event with all the stops pulled out! It looks like full questing Friday and all day/night of Saturday, with the actual feast being held on Sunday. It would appear we can end the long running plot-line of the Planar Shield once and for all (assuming we don't mess up) and help our compatriots in Blackwood. If you want to gorge on plenty of questing and food, this is the place to be!

To the best of my knowledge, this event site has never been used by a Realms event before! This means everything will be fresh and exciting. In addition, there are cabins (unheated) for everyone so no putting up a tent! So with a new event site the question is, what lies in that corner, through that copse of trees or over that hill? There's only one way to find out. Get your questin' shoes on and go and find out!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Question of the Week - 11

Does it bother you when events do not begin at their given start time, or are you so used to it, it no longer bothers you?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Outside the Realms - 10/21/11

Modesty and costuming at LARPs
Here is an interesting article on how to dress modestly while we play. While the Omnibus does not cover the topic of modesty in costuming (other than the topic of real world laws being applicable) this is a good article if you are worried about such things. The link to the article can be found here.
This is an intersting topic and one I do not has ever been touches on before within our community. What are your thoughts on costume modesty? Are we in a good place so far with modesty? Do you think we could get away with a bit more? Do you think there are some costumes at recent events that push the boundaries of what you are comfortable with? 

Geeks wanted for Fantasy Transformation TV Show
Apparently the cable channel Animal Planet is putting together a TV show wherein a person puts together a fantasy based costume and then the costume will get tricked out by professional costume designers, prop masters and special effects. They are actively looking for people to send in video tapes of their costumes and ideas. The link to the article can be found here and it includes an address of where to send your video.
This looks like something made for us.

The Infection is Spreading
Some students at Michigan Tech University are participating in a Humans vs Zombies LARP. In this article here, it outlines some of the basic rules (thrown socks are used to spread the disease) wherein the goal is to survive as a human. However, as some of the uninfected become infected and thus turned into zombies, the number of attacking zombies spreads. This looks a lot like the old Assassin games but with Zombies.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What You Missed - War of Shadows

This is a semi-regular feature which will post some pictures from the event from the previous weekend. Its inclusion will rely on the ability to get some pictures from the event.

Photo by Casey Lemay

Photo by Casey Lemay

Photo by Casey Lemay

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Why I Want to Go- Rhiassa Presents: Knave of Hearts

Rhiassa Presents: Knave of Hearts
October 23, 2011 (Sunday 12pm) - October 23, 2011 (Sunday 6pm)

This event promises to be a full of good-natured team tourneys. There is no pride or hours of pre-event work on the line for this "mini-QoHs", so everyone can come with the ideal of fighting to the best of their ability without worrying about the details. It should be a good fighting experience and a lot of fun as we encounter old beloved tourneys and some new experimental ones.

This tournament is being thrown as a fund-raiser. Rhiassa has created the towers that any eventholder can use for their own events and they are in need of storage space. We have all seen these towers in the past, particularity at Queen of Hearts. The proceeds from this event will allow them to build a permanent shed for storing these towers on that site, along with some new projects Rhiassa is working on. This will ensure they stay in good and workable condition, out of the elements. So, if you are looking to help out, or just want to hit things for the day, this is a good event to attend!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Why I Want to Go- Black & White 2011

Black & White 2011
October 22, 2011 (Saturday 12pm) - October 22, 2011 (Saturday 11pm)

One of the mainstays of the Realms, this is the event where you can take your armor off and show that you can do something other than fight. That is not to say there will be no fighting, because there will be tournaments and the occasional quest going on during the day, but the hightlight of the season is the masquerade ball and court in the evening. Here we get to see the chivalry and pageantry that elevates the Realms beyond a simple fighting system. During the course of the year we simply don't get to see enough of this level of pomp and circumstance and honestly, such events only enhance the Realms as a whole. So, get your mask and fancy garb and have a good time!

If you have never been to this event site before, it is a beautiful site. No hills to break the backs of the older players, but still plenty of woods and trails for action during the day. The interior of the hall has a wonderful medieval look and feel to it which really helps to get into the mood. This is an event not to be missed.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Question of the Week - 10

If there was one spell you could make more powerful, what would it be?

Friday, October 14, 2011

The View From Vilehaven

Chimeron Unveils New Brand Name
As Reported by I. S. Noop

Chimeron has been given the right by the courts, the Fae Courts that is, to legally change their name.  From now on, they wish to be known as Chimeron Lite.  Their new slogan is “Less laws but still feels great!”
They feel a new approach to rulership, with less centralized governing, will allow them to grow further.  They have also replaced all former laws with only one.  The new law, punishable by death, is that no member of Chimeron Lite is allowed to martyr themselves for any cause.  This has met with some fierce resistance from members, but the King has remained adamant about the ruling.  Some who oppose the ruling are contemplating a hunger strike, but the King has pointed out that if they die of hunger to prove their conviction, they will be punished.
When ask how they felt about the measure, an undisclosed member of the Free Nations is quoted as saying, “They may be Lite, but we’re still Free of calories…I mean, of martyrs.”

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Plot View - The Ranelek

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 Ranelek:
Anyone may participate in combating the Ranelek.
The Ranelek are an organization of bad guys that work with god-like beings with the intent of destroying the world. Generally, fighting the Ranelek is much smaller scale, however – taking out a corrupted temple, saving kidnap victims, killing particular monsters… So while the ‘over-arching’ plot may be rather large, nothing ‘earth-shattering’ has occurred of yet. This plot has only been around for a year.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dot the i

Eventually, every one of us that fights will run into the situation where we are outnumbered. Often near the end of a fight, after both sides have been whittled down, you may find yourself taking on 3 or 4 opponents by yourself. What do you do? Is there anything you can do to even up the odds? Yes there is and it is called “Dot the i”.

The basic concept is to minimize the number of opponents that can reach you.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Why I Want to Go- The War of Shadows

The War of Shadows: Disciple Chooses You!
October 14, 2011 (Friday 6pm) - October 16, 2011 (Sunday 5pm)

A war! You can't go wrong with a war. From the way things are shaping up this is going to be a doosy of war as well! There will be a large map for coordinating troops, rules for armies and npc troops, morale, reinforcements, trappings, and just about everything a person could imagine would happen in a war setting. Unlike the typical Realms "war", which is usually just a bunch of backstabbing, this looks to be one where honor, chivalry and fighting skill will be on the showcase. If you've been yearning for the epic feel of a grand war, this is it!

[As a side note: This event does not require any special foreknowledge or actions to participate in the war and fighting. Anyone can show up to the event and fight in the war.]

It is extremely recommended that if you are interested in the mechanics of the war, and you really should be, check out the supplemental informational website at There is a lot of important information there for everyone, even if you are not leading the armies and just showing up to fight in some epic battles.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Question of the Week - 9

What is your favorite type of event (tourney, feast, quest) and why?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Outside the Realms - Violence on Campus

While doing some research for a new Outside the Realms article I came across an article on LARPing at the Kennesaw State University that was posted this past Tuesday. In a nutshell, the writer asks the question, “Should a LARP group be banned from the campus for promoting violence?” I recommend you go and read the article here for a better understanding of what the writer is saying. The comments are also interesting.

To be honest I have not heard of such an attitude in our area, though I could be wrong. I have not had to deal with school or town authorities when it comes to using a practice site, though I suspect there may have been difficulties in the past for some people.

Have you ever had to deal with this type of situation? How would you handle it? What would you say to such a person?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Plot View - Lands of Kord

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 Lands of Kord:
Anyone may participate in any adventure taking place in Kord, but for the duration of their time in Kord, they will be temporarily polymorphed into one of the ‘native’ races of Kord.
There has only been one event in Kord so far, so people that want to be involved haven’t missed anything, really. So far, the players have discovered Kord, and interacted with some of their gods. The players have discovered that Kord has a problem – Kord is by itself in the universe, cut off from all other planes and places in the universe by a mysterious all encompassing Void. Some of the more aware scholars on Kord are trying to reunite the world with the rest of the Universe. They refer to this as rebuilding the Bridge of Eternity. Very little has been discovered about the land as of yet, most people barely getting their feet wet in the plot.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Fighting Chance - Aspis 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. [Editor's Note: If you are planning on attending The War of Shadows, it would be a good idea to read this.]

Threat: The Aspis/Darkvale
Plot Masters; Dave Key-Wallace and Matt Daviault
Plot Start: 2011

What are the Aspis?  The Aspis are a race of snake-like creatures that have long been seen in the Realms and are the inhabitants of the Aspis-Nor mountains.  Followers of the god Rexan, encounters with these creatures have been limited in the past but recent goings-on have seen them move into the lands of Darkvale.

The Monsters:
Which is worse; the enemy you know or the enemy you don’t know?

The Aspis might just seem like a bunch of humanoid snakes, but they have been known to show off and differentiate themselves in different ways.  Aspis (garbed with snake masks or green face paint) vary on their roles and their abilities.  Devotees of Rexan might wear robes or other priestly vestment and cast divine spells.  Warriors bring to bear a tough hide (natural armor) that is sometimes bolstered by normal armor any adventurer might wear.  They seem proficient in all types of weapon styles, though they favor melee weapons over bows and arrows.  Many Aspis display unique personalities and quirks and have a refined culture of their own in the mountains.

Aspis rely on a variety of magics such as the Veil of Shadows (a dark "bubble" preventing magics from passing into Darkvale) and are rumored to be able to poison people with alchemy (potions) or their bite.

The Aspis have been known to recruit or subvert other creatures to help them.  Trolls and goblins (brown mask and tabard or green mask and tabard) have bolstered the ranks of the Aspis while in Darkvale.  Trolls typically are slow-moving creatures with huge strength, capable of throwing boulders.  Goblins vary from lightly armored creatures to powerful shamans (goblin healers or spell casters).

Think you're ready to head into Aspis controlled lands...but what to bring?

Axes and maces will find much use fighting the trolls that have been subverted by the Aspis.  They tend to regenerate; a fast hand and a scalping dagger might be needed to keep them down.  Acid potions might be a quicker alternative if a friendly alchemist is around.

Healers will find themselves busy administering cure for Aspis bites (Immunity to Poison) and raising those unlucky enough to be caught unawares by an Aspis assassin.

Many Aspis are vulnerable to all weapon types.  It might be a good idea to bring along a magic sword to combat stronger Aspis.

Bring those shields and armor!  Many martial Aspis and their allies are hard to kill and will take multiple hits to go down.

“Look before you leap, for snakes among sweet flowers do creep.” - Proverb

Bring someone with you if you venture into Aspis-controlled lands.  While the trolls and goblins might not kill you, a shadowy assassin might make quick work of you.  Having someone to guard your back will help you be better protected from a potential ambush.

Aspis have the advantage of numbers.  By bolstering their ranks with conscripts and unwitting servants, they are more likely to wear opponents down with their superior army.  Fighting smarter and not harder will be the key to victory.

Who to talk to:
Want to know more?  There are a few people who are at the forefront of this threat.  Good people to talk to are Lord Chan Ottokar of Darkvale, Kyomi of Chimeron and Valerie Hart of Chimeron.  The Library of Ivory also a sparse supply of information about this threat.  Any new information should be shared as it becomes available.

Do you have a threat you want to see covered?  Let me know, so we can give other people a fighting chance.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Why I Want to Go- A Single Grain of Sand

A Single Grain of Sand: Tales from the Book of Moons: Chapter 1
October 8, 2011 (Saturday 11am) - October 9, 2011 (Sunday 4pm)

Part of the ongoing Bedlam/Fae Plot, this promises a chance to explore more of that plot while saving part of a world in its last death throes. Thus far the Bedlam plotline has been full of personal interactions, high risk and a grand scale and this looks like more of the same. So, if you like to experience adventure on an epic scale this is your chance! Did I mention they are also giving us an in-character dinner?!

There are a few specialized rules for this event. First is that they will be allowing a play test of the Aspect System, so if you are looking to try out something new, take a look at it on the event write-up. There have been some revisions to the System so even if you think you know it, it is advised to take a look at it again.
There are also extensive boat rules. Since it looks like there will be a lot of boating going on, it is advised you take a look at the rules. I am assuming the players will have to provide their own boat materials, so come prepared.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Question of the Week - 8

Where did you get your garb (plug your favorite vendor here)? 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

10 Questions - Kelly "Twenaria" Bonci

Kelly "Twenaria" Bonci

Photo by angie_phoenix
How long have you been playing?
15 years  (yikes)

How has the game changed since you've been playing? 
New faces aside, Ive seen shifts in the spell system, weapon construction, and playing styles.  Some days it seems that people are much more lackadaisical about garb and role playing that they used to be.  The fighting has gotten faster, and is incredible just to watch now.  Realms is almost ready to be a spectator sport, as predicted by Folkestone many years ago! 

Who have you learned the most from? 
As someone who kind of drifted between groups for as long as I have been playing, I cannot say one person has been the greatest teacher.  But I learned from Sean Anderson, Steve Matulewicz, Carrie Dolph and Tom Johnson.  Each one of them left a core lesson I tend to look at each event I go to. 

What was your best moment IC? 
It has to be a tie, although I confess one might be more OOC.  One of Twen's greatest successes, if she were to be asked, was when she organized the successful resurrection of Slaader after he, er, upset some members of Darklore.   The other would have to be recieving the Champion's sword from Blade at Queen of Hearts.

What was your best moment as a NPC/EH/Player? 
My very first event involved a switch where players were switched out for NPCs during a ritual.  The swap was done over dinner break, but I had to tell the PCs what was going on ahead of time. I was so worried they would leak to the other players.  Not only did they not leak, I had the pleasure of seeing multiple seasoned players jump in surprise during the reveal.  Yup, Im smiling now, just thinking about it. 

Photo by Robyn Otter Nielsen

What would you like to see changed or developed more in game?
The game would benefit from a little more culture, more traditions.  It occurs to me that we lose a little history and immersion when we fail to have traditions. 

What advice would you give new players? 
Never be afraid to set a standard. 

What do you love most about the game? 
Of all the questions, this one is the easiest.  I love the community.  Like any family, we have our crazy uncle, and our disagreements, but we all want to see this game flourish. 

Who would you like to see the next interview be with? 
Ian Pushee

Anything else you'd like to take the opportunity to put into print? 
Be excellent to each other.