Thursday, January 31, 2013

Funny Pictures

In this series, we're posting some unique pictures of us as we play in the Realms. The challenge we present to you is to provide us with funny captions for the pictures in the comments section. Try to keep 'em relatively clean and fun. (Photo by Casey Lemay)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Meet the Merchants- Grimloch Gear

This is the start of a short series highlighting the merchants of the Realms.  We ask a few questions of those members in the Realms that sell goods at events. This series will be running over the next few weeks on Wednesdays, so be sure to check out what great products these people put out for the Realms. If we have not already contacted you about your own shop let us know and we'll add your shop into the schedule. We would also like to thank Katie "Effa" Smith for helping us with the questions.

What is your shop called, and who runs it?
Grimloch Gear! It’s a joint effort on the part of Shandar, Kiira, Guilliam and I. Shandar and Kiira run the weaponsmaking side of things, and Guilliam and I take care of leatherworking and other sundries. Members of the country of Grimloch also pitch in from time-to-time, either by helping man the shop, or by providing
materials and skilled labor.

What do you sell?
Our shop focuses mainly on martial supplies, such as armor, weapons, and combative or supportive casting equipment. Grimloch Gear also offers lightly-used pre-owned garb.

What are your preferred currencies?
We accept both green and all currently backed golds, though we take Grimloch Gold at a 2 gold to 1 green rate, instead of the usual 4 gold to 1 green (realms standard exchange rate). The worth of certain varieties of currently backed golds (such as Coin of the Realms, or the Vanguard) is up to the discretion of the shopkeeper.

Where can an adventurer find your wares?
Grimloch Gear vends at a few feasting & tourney events every year, and we are always reachable through either email, or by speaking to us via FaceBook, where we run a “Grimloch Gear” group. The next two events we are certain to be at are Leviathan and Tournaments of Creathorne.

What makes your wares super awesome?
Our weaponsmakers, Shandar and Kiira, are both fantastically skilled foamsmiths. Shandar makes some of the lightest swords I have ever touched, and Kiira’s marns,shields, and decorative foamsmithing abilities make her creations useful and practical works of art. Of our leathworkers; Guilliam has won many armoring tournaments, and his leatherworking abilities are something to be admired. I’m fun at parties. Grimloch Gear offers an accessible way for newer and older adventurers to keep up with the constantly evolving weaponry and arms at a reasonable price, as well as offering specially tailored caster gear that is designed with realms combat and spell-system in mind.

Anything else?
Grimloch Gear offers new-player discounts for some merchandise, as well as lessons on armor making (just contact Sir Guilliam!)

-Effa Mactyr & The Staff of Grimloch Gear

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

View From Valehaven Awards 2012

Here are the results for the 2012 View From Valehaven Awards. One change from the Awards Ceremony is to be found in the Best New Monster Concept category: the Blackwood Wraiths had their votes spread over three monster names instead of being consolidated into one vote count for the one monster; the total has been adjusted and the Blackwood Wraiths are now tied for second within the category. 

Congratulations to all those that placed and won!

Biggest Adrenaline Rush:
1) SOS (A Very Merry Yule at uncle "Crazy" Cecil's Tavern)
2) Folkestone Questing 2012
3) N/S War 2012 + Order of the List Invitational 2

Best New Tournament:
1) Bardic Pit (Mightier Than the Sword)
2) Mage/Fighter Only (N/S War 2012)
3) Team Duncan's Challenge (Rohodey Presents: Nobles and Commoners)

Best New Monster Concept:
1) Bedlam Dragon (Rhiassa Presents: Feast of the Leviathan XIV)
2) Krampus (A Very Merry Yule at Uncle "Crazy" Cecil's Tavern + Blackwood Wraiths
3) Shades

Monday, January 28, 2013

Question of the Week - 77

We are one of the few LARPs that allow head shots; what do you think about head shots?

Friday, January 25, 2013


You may have noticed that several of the current WPI students have been or are away in some fairly exotic locales.   Each student at WPI has to do two projects, an IQP (Interactive Qualifying Project) and a MQP (Major Qualifying Project). IQPs are interdisciplinary and based on social science and solving problems in people's lives. Each project counts as three credits and can be done intensively as the only course for a semester or spread out across three terms.  While the projects can be done in Worcester, students can also take the opportunity to travel.

Pat "Saka" Bobell did his IQP in Venice, Italy from October 17, 2012 to December 15, 2012. He was creating a Wiki to make all the other projects WPI students do in Venice accessible to the public.  He also drafted a management/development plan on how other organizations could be integrated.

Angela "Monique" Wood is currently in New Zealand. She left on January 6th and will be back on March 2nd. She is doing her IQP in collaboration with the National Museum of New Zealan, Te Papa Tongarewa. She is exploring ways to measure the depth and meaning of engagement that people have with digital technology such as social media and mobile apps, particularly in relation to museums.  To learn more about her adventures visit her blog.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Funny Pictures

In this series, we're posting some unique pictures of us as we play in the Realms. The challenge we present to you is to provide us with funny captions for the pictures in the comments section. Try to keep 'em relatively clean and fun. (Photo by Casey Lemay)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What You Missed - Feast Of the Leviathan XV

Photo by Dustin Mack - 2012

Photo by Dustin Mack - 2012

Photo by Casey Lemay - 2012

Photo by Casey Lemay - 2012

Monday, January 21, 2013

Question of the Week - 76

Some events have had dogs, ferrets and snakes at events; what do you think of pets/animals at events?

Friday, January 18, 2013

10 Questions- Jessica "Hope" Osio

Photo by Doug Fisher

How long have you been playing?
I believe I started in the fall... I think in 2000.

How has the game changed since you've been playing?
I'm not sure if it's changed so much or if I have... Well I'm certain I've changed! And that makes the former hard to tell. As a caster I can remember there being 2-circle buy downs and attending several events for one spell... I can remember seed of life and the protection path being added to the game... But I guess the biggest thing is that I remember every event feeling "equal" Many of the "popular names" of events that have 10+ years under their belts where only just starting then. There wasn't really anything as a "small" or "no name" event. They all seemed equally "important." Perhaps that was also just because I was new, but I feel like the "unknown" events fight an
uphill battle for attention in our game if they aren't on an otherwise boring weekend.

Who have you learned the most from?
That's a hard one because I still feel pretty clueless! I guess Ian Pushee taught me the most about the magic system, Ian Struckoff about understanding how to have fun (especially when role playing may "corner" you otherwise) and to understand other people having theirs, and Steve Matulewicz on, well growing up in general. Having started when I was 15 I did a lot of that in this community!

What was your best moment IC?
I wasn't even there for it! Years ago during a QoH bardic, they had to play charades and imitate people in the game so the crowd could guess. Someone drew me and immediately did the most unflattering but hilarious impersonation of my popular nickname "Annoying archer chick" and everyone burst out laughing and got it right away. I heard all about it several times later on and wished I hadn't gone to bed early! But I was exhausted from senshalling that day. I think that was the year I was on Disko Dirk's team. He made shirts for his entire team and It was truly the event when I felt totally, really, a part of the community for the first time. Like people knew me and who I was instead of some newbie.

What was your best moment as a NPC/EH/Player?
Even though I had small attendance to my event this year having each one of the PCs tell me that they had an amazing time afterwards was amazing. The Pizza party with all the NPCs after was a lot of fun too; despite the fact we didn't throw a big event it still felt like we threw the best event; It made me really happy to have put so much work into EH'ing even though things didn't turn out "big."

What would you like to see changed or developed more in game?
I'd like to see more variety of events, I feel like tournaments have kinda taken over and people prefer to only play in a few "main" plots or play for a few known EH's. I remember the old Final fantasy and zelda events super fondly, but "silly" stuff doesn't seem popular anymore and I think the community is missing out by sticking to tried and true or popular stuff.

What advice would you give new players?
Rationalize ways to play how you want, not how you should. Role playing and story add a lot of depth and meaning to your character but they should never define your character's moods or situation. I find newer players put the most work and care into their stories, but don't let it hedge you in! even if you have to resort to inconsistencies no one else will mind even if they do notice; try to discover why you like to play, what aspects of the hobby give you fun. and Let the story and role playing just be covers for that.

What do you love most about the game?
Being social! I just like being with the crowd.

Who would you like to see the next interview be with?
Mike Doherty, Wrath, AKA Spearkid! [His interview can be seen here].

Anything else you'd like to take the opportunity to put into print?
I'll think of something later I'm sure, but I guess for now I just want to thank you for putting time and effort into something that adds more soul to the community, and Thanks for picking me!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Funny Pictures

In this series, we're posting some unique pictures of us as we play in the Realms. The challenge we present to you is to provide us with funny captions for the pictures in the comments section. Try to keep 'em relatively clean and fun. (Photo by Casey Lemay)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

2013 Players Meeting

This is a friendly reminder that the 2013 Player's Meeting will be happening this Saturday, the 19th. It will be taking place this year in Nashua, NH. Start time is 11am.

If you have never been before this is where all the potential proposals for the Omnibus/rulebook are discussed among the players. Here additional proposals can be sent to the Event Holders Council Meeting; it is the last chance to get a proposal to the meeting to be voted on for its possible inclusion into our rule system.

In addition, the players will be electing one of the Players to attend the EHC Meeting as a voter and representative of the Players. This is usually one of the first things discussed at the Player's Meeting, so make sure you get there on time if you want to be this person or have a say in who it will be.

If nothing else, by attending this meeting you will have a better understanding of the potential changes we could see this upcoming year...and I heard there will be cookies.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Why I Want to Go- The Western Frontier

The Western Frontier: The Knights of the Sable Dragon Present Arisia 2013
January 20, 2013 (Sunday 10am) - January 20, 2013 (Sunday 4pm)

This annual event is running concurrent with Arisia, a science fiction and fantasy convention. This event is meant to highlight the Realms in a more visible venue, a way to outreach to those outside our community. You can go to help out by showing how we do things, either by playing your character or by helping to NPC for the event. Either way this is an excellent opportunity to show off the Realms. Also, you could make this a geek weekend by attending the convention on Saturday and capping it off with the event on Sunday.

Since this event is being run at the convention there are a few changes from the norm. The cost of the event is factored into the cost of the convention; you pay to attend the convention instead of paying to attend the event. Also, no bows or anything over 5' is allowed due to room constraints.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Question of the Week - 75

What do you think about javelins; like 'em or hate 'em?

Friday, January 11, 2013

On Being the Player's Representative by Alysha "Kyntela" Metcalf

If you are planning to attend the upcoming 2013 Players’ Meeting, there is a chance your friends will nominate you to be the Players’ Representative; possibly just to annoy you, but perhaps because you are genuinely interested in filling the position. I was the Players’ Rep at the 2011 Event Holders’ Council, but did not go into the Players’ Meeting with that plan in mind. The experience taught me a lot, and I want to share what I learned in hopes that anyone considering the role for this year can take something useful away from this article.

The job of the Players’ Rep is to represent the views of the players on the proposals brought to the Council, and ultimately to cast a vote on the players’ behalf in favor of or against each proposal. The Players’ Rep can also accept amendments to proposals on behalf of the player who authored it.  If you’re going into the meeting hoping to win the position, you should know that the amount of effort you put into your position makes the difference between a Players’ Rep and a good Players’ Rep. The following list of tips is my advice for anyone considering the role:

     Come prepared.

Nominations for the Players’ rep take place at the beginning of the meeting, but the actual selection process does not take place until the end. This gives you the opportunity to take notes throughout the entire meeting, and get a good read on how the players feel. If you know ahead of time that you plan to run for Players’ Rep, bring a computer or notebook and pen with you. It may also be helpful to bring a copy of the proposals with you so that you can make notes to easily reference at the EHC as each proposal is brought up.

     Take good notes.

When making your case at the end of the meeting, the other players and EHs in the room are probably going to test you on the events of the day. Your peers don’t want someone who wasn’t listening actively and absorbing the conversations to represent them at the EHC. They may ask what notes you had written down for a particular proposal, or what the specific vote count was on another. You need to pay attention to all the discussions that take place, and feel prepared to discuss the general feedback received on any given proposal. Taking good notes will also help prepare you to articulate the players’ opinions accurately at the EHC.

     Reach out and gather feedback.

So you’ve been elected Players’ Rep, now what? The work that you do in the two weeks between the Players’ Meeting and the EHC is what will distinguish you as a good Players’ Rep. Send an email to the OOC Realms List to let everyone know who you are, and how to contact you. Realistically not every player will be able to make it to the meeting, but will still have opinions on the proposals they will want represented. When I was the Players’ Rep, I shared a Google survey with all the players so that they could provide their feedback. While this certainly isn’t required, it is a great way to get a wider scope of player opinion that may not have been as accurately represented by the Players’ Meeting votes alone.

At the EHC, you will also have the power to accept amendments for proposals on the player’s behalf. Proactively reaching out to these players to get a sense of their vision for their own proposal will better equip you to present it at the EHC. It will also assist you in making decisions on whether to accept (or reject) any amendments when you know what the author intended.

     Go to fight practices.

The best way to get feedback from the players is to talk to them in person. Not only can they not ignore you, but most will be happy to discuss their favorite and least favorite proposals face-to-face if you simply approach them and ask. There are practices spread out all over New England throughout the week, which presents an excellent opportunity to get a good regional cross-section of player opinions as well. It is a good idea to advertise what practices you plan on attending so that people can come prepared to speak with you.

     Be objective.

It sounds like a no-brainer, but it can be difficult not to let your personal opinions override the players’ general consensus when voting at the EHC. The job of the Players’ Rep is to vote on behalf of the players, whether or not your own personal vote might have gone the other way. Try to accurately present the overall opinion when speaking for proposals without letting your own bias creep in. If opinions were fairly split on a particular proposal, be careful to represent both sides.

     Be confident.

If you’ve done your due diligence--taken good notes, reached out to players, spoken to proposal authors, familiarized yourself with the EHC process--then you should be in great shape to speak at the meeting. It can be intimidating to speak in front of a room of EHs, particularly if you have never attended the meeting before or are a newer player. Keep in mind that you were elected to the position, so the players felt confident that you would represent them well. You get to speak first on every proposal, so know that your voice matters as the voice of the players.

     Bring cookies.

Seriously, EHs love cookies.

While I may have made the Players’ Rep position sound like a lot of work and little fun, I would highly recommend going for it, particularly if you have never done it before. It was a valuable experience for me as a player, and also better prepared me to be a voting EH the following year. If you follow my advice, you will get the chance to speak to a wide variety of people that you might not normally interact with. You will also engage in interesting discussions and get to experience perspectives on issues you may never have considered prior. The best and most rewarding part of being the Players’ Rep is that you get the opportunity to be actively involved in a process that shapes the game we play.

Realmscraft: Introduction by Gary "Dagger" Heinstrom

"For over 20 years, players in the Realms have met on weekends and played characters in a fictional world.  We have maps, and imagine that we come from lands with castles, roads, bridges, towns, and everything else that might fit a medieval fantasy theme.  Until now, those lands have lived in our stories, songs, poems, and fertile imaginations.  This project is an attempt to change that.

"Realmscraft" could never replace LARPing, but with the right approach it can be a tool to make our shared roleplaying experience deeper and more fulfilling than ever before.

In service to the Realms,

- Stephen Johnson, KoR, KoEF"

Author’s Notes - 

My name is Gary E. Heinstrom.  Some of you may remember me as Dagger Arkenstone of Blackwood.  Presently I live in Germany so; my realms life has been limited for the last few years.  I signed on to the Realmscraft (Minecraft) Project to participate in the Realms community where I could.  Since, I have undertaken many projects within the Realmscraft server.  New Verai and Old White Coast are a few areas I have the pleasure of working extensively on.  Please enjoy a glimpse at this work in progress.

Welcome to:

The Palace d'Verai and the Temple of Asmodeus

Brief History
The Kingdom of new Verai was dissolved in 995, shortly after the introduction of the worship of the god Arioch, by New Verai’s steward, Baron Cinnabar of the Borderlands. All vassals of New Verai were released of their oaths to Verai, and permitted to take the lands that they governed with them.  Only New Verai itself and the lands of Doomghaurd remained under the direct control of the royal d’Verai family.

Secondary Manse of the Palace d’Verai

Main Palace in Background


Temple of Asmodeus at Dusk