Thursday, February 28, 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 Angela Earle Gray)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Meet the Merchants- Custom by Design

What is your shop called, and who runs it?
Custom by Design and it's run by me (Becky "Naralia" Garbos). Sometimes when I am at an event, I'll some one else sit there.  But it is all me that makes the items.

What do you sell?
I sell mainly bracelets.  But I am starting to branch out into rings and earrings.  I also do duct tape roses and duct tape wallets.  Everything can be customized.

What are your preferred currencies?
I prefer real world money for most of my items.  But I am willing to use the barter system some some of my items.  One would just have to get in touch with me.

Where can an adventurer find your wares?
I can be found at several different places...

You can also find me at some events.  I tend to keep a selection of my wares on me.  So if you see me out and about... I can usually help you out.

What makes your wares super awesome?
My wares are super awesome because they are all custom made and made with love.  I will do my best to go above and beyond for my customers.  I have a wonderful order book where my customers can pick the colors of the item they are ordering.

Anything else?
I value customer service.  I try my hardest to treat all my customers as if they are the most important person to me and give them the type of service I would like to receive.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Why I Want to Go- Deep Dark Secrets

Deep Dark Secrets
March 2, 2013 (Saturday 12pm) - March 2, 2013 (Saturday 6pm)

The Magi of the Realms are throwing an event! You have the collective minds of an organization that prides itself on thinking outside the box, thinking in new and inventive ways, and being creative...and they are getting together to throw an event to challenge us! I fully expect to face new things I have never encountered before. From the write-up it looks like there are a number of new mechanics being tried, all designed to aid in role-play and adventure. I fully expect to have a good time at this event (no pressure on the the Magi).

To the best of my knowledge this is a completely new site. From their website, the camp was designed to be used by LARPs; it has only been open since 2010, has 48 acres and, from the pictures, wonderful buildings for use. It is always exciting to use a new site and this one looks ideal. As mentioned, there are a number of new mechanics in place, so you may want to check out the write-up as some require character choices to be made at the beginning of the event.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Question of the Week - 81

How has your real-life family reacted to you playing in the Realms? Have they been supportive or derisive?

Friday, February 22, 2013

New View From Valehaven Awards Categories by David "Callin" Dolph

If an effort to keep things exciting and new we are contemplating adding some new View From Valehaven Awards categories, including two meta-categories. Browse the following and let us know which ones you would like to see added to next year's awards. You can also let us know if you have some ideas for categories that are not on this prospective list.


Best New Monster That Only 1 Person on Site Could Affect
Best New Monster That Took the Longest to Figure Out How to Kill
Event Holder Who Gave Away the Best Magic Items
Event Holder That Attends the Least Amount of Events But is Still an Event Holder
Event With the Longest Downtime
Best New Tournament That Had at Least 3 Rule Changes During the Tourney 
Best New Prop/Costume That Was Obviously Bought at the Dollar Store
Best Plot That Got More Confusing the Longer the Plot Went On
Best After Feast Restaurant
Best Friday Night Event That Didn't Start Until Midnight

Best Cleavage
Highest Skirt
Most Broken Weapons
Most Weapons Pulled
Most Complaining About Getting Hit With Bamboo
Least Annoying Kid Under 10
Most Unnecessarily Complex Backstory
Best Sweatpants and T-Shirt Garb
Most Obviously Stolen From a Famous Fantasy Novel or Video Game IC Name
Most Unwieldy Duct-Taped PVC Weapon


Most Curmudgeonly
Most Irritable
Most Cantankerous
Most Crabby
Most Annoyed (If you don't know the differences between the top 5 - don't vote ya newb)
Most Stories About How the Old Days Were Better
Most Time Spent Sitting Down
Best Oldbie 


Best Fighter Whose Character Name Starts With "Calli"
Sexiest Player Whose Last Name Ends in "olph"
Best Event Holder That has the Same Letter Starting His First and Last Name
Best Role Model Who is at Least 6' Tall and is Balding and is Not Jarrod
Greatest Contributor to the Realms That has Two Consecutive "L"'s in His Character Name

Thursday, February 21, 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 Angela Earle Gray)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Meet the Merchants- Karmha Creations

What is your shop called, and who runs it?
Karmha Creations and Karmha Celestine (KC) runs it.  Out of Character, Casey Lemay.

What do you sell?
Mostly customized tabards and banners, leather masks, leather accessories (jewelry, hair clips, and i made a pair of leather cos-play ears) magic accessories (pouches, magic missiles, and other various stuff), and i have done award certificates for TOC, Tournaments of the Blue Rose, Tournaments of Artemis, Tournaments of Chaos and many more. 

What are your preferred currencies?
Real money currency so far once i get the shop up and running at events this year there will be more in game currency.

Where can an adventurer find your wares?
Right now they can find samples of my work on my Karmha Creations Facebook page.  Most of my orders are done through in person contact or by facebook.  I plan on setting up shop at events this year once i get more items to stock it with.

What makes your wares super awesome?
I have made many tabards and banners for Nations of the realms some of them include Grimloch, Folkestone,Rhiassa, and Blackwood.  I am willing to donate customized items to auctions for a good cause.  And have created alot of personal heraldry for people including Knights of the Blue Rose, Newbies just looking to have their own symbol, and Syruss, one of my first and most loyal customers.  I used various methods such as patch work, screen printing, and airbrushing to do my designs.  And when it comes to creating a design i go through a proofing process to make sure you are happy with the end product.  

Anything else?
Basically you think of something cool you want made and i can figure out a way to get it done. Props, Tabards, Banners, and anything awesome i can do. I may be looking for an apprentice soon to help run my shop and to teach my many secrets of the trade to.  If anyone is interested please let me know.  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Why I Want to Go- Highbridge University

Highbridge University: Class Day and Low Tea
February 23, 2013 (Saturday 12pm) - February 23, 2013 (Saturday 10pm)

In the Realms we tend to run the same sorts of events with, rarely, an event that breaks the mold we are used to. This event looks like it will provide us with something truly unique. This is a two-part event. The first part is a series of in-character classes designed to answer and stimulate questions on a wide range of topics. They look to cover Realms adversaries, spell casting suggestions and other interesting classes. The second part of the event is a full feast being cooked by one of our up-and-coming feastocrats. This looks like a seriously fun event.

As of right now, the feast and pre-reg portion of the event has reached cap. However, you can still attend the classes only, but you should get in contact with the event staff as soon as possible. "Classes Only" event attendance is only $10 and a day board of food is still provided. The site for this event is truly new; it is a site/museum (the Shaker Museum). In fact, if you can not attend the feast, spending the day at the classes and then checking out the museum still sounds like a fun day. For those of you who can not attend, hopefully the reviews will let us know how this unique approach to an event went.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Question of the Week - 80

What do you think about event sites where we have to share the site with "mundanes", such as Mine Falls?

Friday, February 15, 2013

10 Questions - Ben "Rohde" Grant

Ben "Rohde" Grant

How long have you been playing?
Photo by Angela Earle Gray
That depends, if we are talking about hitting people with foam bats then I have been doing that since 2001, but prior to being safe I was a crazy young kid who used metal golf clubs to hit the neighbor kids (Chris Marques-Jaha.) He used a stick. My first realms event was Champion of Rathkeale in April of 2002. There was supposed to be a war or something. I was offered a suit of chainmail to fight for the Empire, or the Barony, I don't remember. The event sucked, mainly cause nothing happened and it was cold and rainy. I wasn't gonna let that be the end of my fun in The Realms though. My first amazing time was my next event which was ToC and I was hooked after that. 

How has the game changed since you've been playing?
I remember a more laid back community, people used to look at the weekends as an escape and not as a second job. Gotta have fun and not get up in arms so much. I feel like events had more attendance years ago, maybe because as a newer player the community seemed larger and now I know most people so it seems small. Combat and weaponry has changed a whole lot and certainly for the better. Lighter weapons have evened out the playing field and allowed decent fighters more chances of winning over the top tier fighters and that is always a good thing. There may have been a spell or 2 that has changed but I don't really pay attention to that stuff. 

Who have you learned the most from?
So this is an odd one, I'd have to say I learned how to start fighting well by Tom Johnson (Blade) but really just watching EVERYONE is how I developed my own fighting style and how to beat all of my opponents. Mostly I learned all the other stuff like being "nice" and "not ruining other peoples fun" by trial and error and getting yelled at in back rooms. 

What was your best moment IC?
Oh man, there are sooooooooo many. I could list accomplishes like being Squired/Knighted or winning Champion titles 4 times, but the things that always stand out are epic fights. Here are 2 of mine that I will never forget...
1.) "Syruss screws the team over" 
    QoH, Syruss is a caster and during "Fetch" he raises an opponent. That person raised his ENTIRE team and they had the item we were fetching. I was dead very far away and Jaha came and raised me and we were both crazily mad at Syruss and needed to win the only way we knew how. So we start sprinting towards the other team that was about to turn in for the tourney to end, we are slaughtering people left and right and dodging blows like mad. Once the dust settles there was me and Jaha and about 30 dead people, some were marshals. Apparently they had turned it in right before we got there so the tourney was over and we were just on a murderous rampage, it was epic. This was the year that the team Grimloch was on lost QoH and we all blame Syruss.
2.) "I swear we were possessed" 
    I forget what event this was at but there was about 60 PC's on a quest in Bedford NH at Camp Allen. We were young and got bored easily on quests but then we found a Basketball hoop and ball so we started shooting around and then even had Dave Dolph play some 2 on 2 for a few minutes. The quest went down the path and we decided we should head back to it and play the game we paid to play. As we were walking down the path we noticed we were behind the NPC line. We had this great idea to get our blood pumping again, pretend we were possessed! So we start walking down the trail towards the back side of the NPC line and Gryff waves and shouts to all the PCs "Oh good, Grimloch's behind flanking them and gonna kill them all" or something like that. we walked right through the NPC's and began slaughtering all of the players. Biggs broke off to the right, Jaha center and I took left. we killed EVERYONE!!! Like 60 or so people! I remember the last person I killed, it was a very fast running and screaming Rel. He made it pretty deep into the forest in thick shrubs, but I got em. Slowly they all got up and we told them we were possessed and they bought it.

Oh and there was also that time I scalped King Cecil the first event after he was crowned, but we wont get into detail on that one :P 

Photo by Angela Earle Gray

What was your best moment as a NPC/EH/Player?
I often times get drafted to play the "big bad guy" but I much prefer to play a smaller role and one that I can have fun with and make people laugh. I also really enjoy playing a Zombie in Grimloch Plot. I get really into screaming out crazy shit and charging into the PC's sometimes without a weapon just to frighten them. It reminds me of what I did to get into the realms in the first place which was running a Haunted House in Chelmsford Ma. I love scaring people in the dark and was very good at it. 

What would you like to see changed or developed more in game?
I would like to see less events, but more epic events. I would like to see more opportunity to use real life skill in game. 

What advice would you give new players?
If you like fighting, watch people fight, study their moves and their entire body's form. Find a stance that feels the most comfortable but dont get used to it, subtle changes in you stance can improve your abilities alot more than drastic changes. 

What do you love most about the game?
I loved combat the most but now I really only go to hang out with people that I have met and become friends with.


Who would you like to see the next interview be with?
John Berini (Tallon of Neden) 

Anything else you'd like to take the opportunity to put into print?
Its spelled R O H D E not Rhode... more than half of my trophies don't belong to me.

Rohde and Syruss's Hump House is having a bi-weekly half off Tuesday day crowd sale.
Everything is half off!!!
You get to pick which half of the girl you want!
Even half off the Buffet! (cause the dogs ate the other half)

Thursday, February 14, 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 Angela Earle Gray)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Meet the Merchant- Tria's Treats/The Tea Tree

What is your shop called, and who runs it?
I have two stores: Tria's Treats and The Tea Tree. I am in charge of both of them (with the aid of my changeling, Demi), though sometimes I have helpers like Indana and Valerie who come and sit with me during events. 

What do you sell?
Tria's Treats is a snack shop that tends to sell sweet and salty munchies for the adventurer on-the-go. We also make sure to stock up on water and replenishing drinks.

The Tea Tree is my tea house. I hand blend all of my teas, which are mainly medicinal in nature. I have ones for pain, headaches, stomachaches, or just sad moods and exhaustion.

What are your preferred currencies?
I take green or gold, though depending on how much I spent on the materials, I sometimes lean towards one or the other. I love rare coins and bills, and have a pretty nice collection going. Chimeron currency is always a plus, but I am Chimeronian, so I may be a bit biased.

Where can an adventurer find your wares?
Tria's Treats makes an annual show at Queen of Hearts (though I am fielding a team this year and thus will not likely be running the store). So far, the Tea Tree has only showed up at Mightier than the Sword, but it seemed to be successful, so I plan on bringing it to some future tourney or perhaps feasting events.

What makes your wares super awesome?
They are always made by me (and my helpers) personally, and thus have a special touch to them. Also, they are super tasty, even if not always the best for you, and I always try to sell at low prices, because I understand the plight of a low-income adventurer.

Anything else?
If you would like to see Tria's Treats or the The Tea Tree at your event, please contact me. With a few weeks notice, I can almost always figure out a way to get one of the shops up there and have someone to run it, even if I am unable to come myself.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Why I Want To Go- KoEF Tourney 2013

KoEF Tourney 2013
February 16, 2013 (Saturday 12pm) - February 16, 2013 (Saturday 6pm)

[Disclaimer: The author of this post is a member of the staff.]

This is one of the more interesting tourney events held during the year as it features a wide a variety of competitions. One of the cornerstones of the event is that each Knight brings a different tourney idea, which means there is a wide diversity in what you will encounter during the day. Along with a range of combat tourneys there will be other challenging games, as well as a short dungeon crawl for small teams. There is usually something for everyone here.

This site is huge and can easily accommodate not only a large number of people, but also a large number of concurrent tourneys going on at the same time, so there is always something going on. The Huntress Guild will also be here raising money for weaponry and gear for the women fighter's of the Realms in the form of a yummy food shop; it was delicious last year!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Question of the Week - 79

Do you think there are too many combat calls (armor-piercing, boulder, poison, etc) or would you like to see more (shatter, fireball, etc)?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Fresh Face- David "Tirvanel" Rubenstein

Photo by Matt Norris
How did you learn about Realms?
I learned about the realms through the WPI SMAS organization which runs an open fight practice weekly, as well as a club only fight practice. I knew that there was a LARP group on campus even before meeting anyone from SMAS, so I already had plans to seek them out.

How many events have you been to?
Since I started playing, I have attended 16 events, of which two were not legal due to player numbers. 

Have you ever LARP’ed before? If so tell us about it?
I have previously LARP’ed at a summer camp known as The Wayfinder Experience, both as a camper and a junior staff member. It uses weapons that have significantly more foam on them than boff weapons, as well as significantly less PVC. There is a much higher focus on roleplaying at Wayfinder compared to the Realms. Another major difference between the two is Wayfinder doesn’t have a continuing storyline, but instead runs completely independent games,
with almost no character continuity.

What is your character like? Where are they from? What is their race? What is important to them?
My character is Tirvanel Fuller. He has a strong devotion to his friends, and will do almost anything to help them. He has recently become a follower of Aurora. Due to unfortunate events regarding his memories shortly before beginning adventuring, he has no memories of where he is from, or even who his parents are. His race is something that he currently shares with only a few people. His closest companion is his familiar, Tigris, an occasionally size changing cat.

What do you remember most about your first event?
My first event was Storytellers 7. I came in slightly late to the event, due to when I was able to get a ride. As all my friends were NPCing the first quest, I came in knowing nobody. This was a little hard for me, as none of the PCs were sure who I was, or if I was even a PC vs NPC.

What things have helped to make you feel welcome in game?
Having a group of friends I knew going in was really helpful for me. It is always easier having someone you know already rather than going into completely unfamiliar territory.

What parts of the game do you find most challenging?
I find a fair amount of challenge in fighting, as I am not the most physically fit person. Another challenge I have run across sometimes is during “open-area” quests is deciding which areas to go to first. It always seems like we want to go everywhere, and getting people to decide on where to go is always a struggle.

Do you have any game related goals (as either a player or character)?
 My largest goal for this year is to qualify for the Order of the List Invitational this year. I currently have two points from getting third in dagger at the Feast of the Leviathan. The biggest goal I have in character is to find out more about my past. Eventually I think I want to, at the very least, become a squire to one of the knightly orders.

What advice would you give other new players?
Get to know people. Other people are probably your greatest resource possible. The number of
things you can learn from other people is unbelievable. I would also suggest attending a fight practice if there is one near you.

What have you enjoyed most about the game so far?
I have really enjoyed playing one character who sticks around. In my other LARP, I will play a character for just long enough to start getting attached to the character, and then the event will end, and that exact character will never return.

Anything else you'd like to take the opportunity to put into print?
I want to thank everyone who has put up with dealing with backstory plot being run outside of events with regards to my character. Even when I want to get stuff done at unusual times, you have been able to work something out with regards to meeting up.

Thursday, February 7, 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, February 6, 2013

Meet the Merchant- The Realms Outfitters

What is your shop called, and who runs it?The Realms Outfitters is a conglomeration of the old Chimeron Shop, Kyomi's garb, and Therrian's leather goods.  It is run by Ayuchi Kyomim of Chimeron and Therrian and is one of the longest continuously running shops in the community.

What do you sell?
Realms Outfitters strives to provide adventurers with quality durable clothing and accessories designed to equip you for anything from a goblin invasion to a dance competition.  We sell all manner of clothing, belts, pouches, spell accessories and feast gear.  We also do consignments.

What are your preferred currencies?
The Realms Outfitters is the backing force behind the rowan.  As such, rowan are accepted as 12g at the shop.  We also accept most other currencies.

Where can an adventurer find your wares?
We traditionally set up at Feast of Leviathan, Feast of Chimeron, Festival of Val Dara and Queen of Hearts, but have been known to appear at other events as well.

What makes your wares super awesome?
Our clothing and leather are hand crafted and effort is put into reinforcing stitches on the clothing and pouches to minimize ripping.  We keep prices low and we make quality, stylish items stuff that last.  That's why we've stayed around and why we'll be around for many years to come. 

Anything else?
New this year....through magical means, Lady Visa and Master Card will be available to extend credit to buyers at the shop!  This will be first attempted at Feast of Leviathan.  Wish us luck!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Why I Want to Go- Festival of Imbolc

Festival of Imbolc: Celebration of Winters End
February 9, 2013 (Saturday 12pm) - February 9, 2013 (Saturday 7pm)

This looks to be a light day of fun. There will be tourneys being run (and points to be scored for the Order of the List), games to be played and food to be eaten. We are due for some camaraderie and this looks like a good event to get some of that. There should be a little of everything at this event. And the cook is well known as putting out some excellent feasts.

This site is excellent for feasts and tourneys as it is big enough to handle both. Parking is a bit of a pain, so come early for the best spots. In addition, they would like pre-regs for the event (to help plan for food and such) and there is a discount for doing so; note that payment is not required until the day of the event, so pre-regging is an easy and cost-effective thing to do.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Question of the Week - 78

Do you think magic weapons, that give no ability other than being able to call 'magic', are useful?

Friday, February 1, 2013

10 Questions - Henry "Guilliam" Giasson

Henry "Guilliam" Giasson 

Photo by Angela Earle Gray
How long have you been playing? 
My first event was Feast of the Scarlet Wench, I believe 1993. That year I also participated in the Tournaments of Chiron, which I believe was held in the basement halls and function rooms of UMASS.

How has the game changed since you've been playing?
That is an interesting question. for starters, the players have matured. I think the average age has increased based on retention of great players. You figure I've been almost 20 years now, and there are people who have been around long before me. The oldest player that I remember in terms of age was probably Robert Traynor in his 40's back then. Now it's really not uncommon to see players close to 50 on a regular basis. It has helped in giving people role models I think. I know there are people that I respect still around. The magic system has changed immensely. I feel that people are more focused on magic and game granted benefits than fighting in many places now, where that did not used to be the case. Weapons technology and armor evolution have made the game remarkably fast, marshalling has gotten better too. Plots have always come and gone in waves, right now there doesn't seem to be as much for people to be passionate about but in a year or two the next will happen. It's the same with costuming, I feel like garb and roleplaying are on an up swing again, which is good.

Who have you learned the most from?
I've learned from so many people, too many to name. To list a few: I've learned to treat people with respect and how to act like a Knight in and out of character from watching Neil (Eldritch) for many years. He was a role model to me when I was 14 and is still someone i respect. I learned the magic system and how to marshal magic from Nate (Aelias) who was a mentor in my younger years and still a friend. When I was his squire he pushed me to strive for excellence and left me with the saying "A leader is above and before all else, a positive influence". Fighting I learned from a great many people, but I probably made the greatest advances in my career when Tom (Blade) was coaching me not just on fighting, but on battlefield awareness and making decisions under pressure. Believe it or not, this helped during my combat tour in Iraq. Of course the men in Grimloch have continued to train and push me to improve as a fighter all around. I learned to be a good host and take the the time to care for your guests thanks to Lindsay and Matt (Cecil) and how to be patient with newer players from Dan (Diamond). Mike (Panther) taught me how to win with grace and respect those he's beaten- a lesson I learned at a Queen of Hearts when he beat me and treated me with respect all the while. PJ taught me that to be a man one has to confront head on their concerns and talk to someone "like a man" face-to-face to clear misunderstandings. David (Vawn) taught me that new friends can be found in the most unlikely places if you are open to meeting them and willing to spend time outside of your 'normal' social circle. I learned from others that you dont always have to 'like' someone to respect them for being a good person or a great contributor. I learned that being a host means opening your doors to anyone who wants to learn and comes to your home with respect and friendship. And through all of this nobody has shown me and taught me as much loyalty through the years as many of the guys in Grimloch; they stood by me through some of the hardest times of my life. I will always appreciate you guys so much. 

What was your best moment IC?
There are a few. Hiring Eldritch by accident when he returned to the Realms was a funny one. Winning the Queen of Hearts Champions Tourney for Liselle as our characters began dating was a special moment. Venom (my alt.) robbing Queen Meg was good. And if you haven't heard the tale of the Mighty Hatchet or of Death Cows, get me talking around a fire some night. My favorite moment though was standing beside Blade when we founded Grimloch. The Grimloch idea was to raise the bar- to become the best in fighting, questing, NPC-ing, casting, marshalling, and to become the epitome of good game-play. In many ways we've done this and proof is in the knights, events, and players that we have produced along with recognition that individuals have earned. No matter how good we are, there is always room to improve and raise the bar higher. Standing in the Feast of Rhiassa and in front of the Realms forming grimloch beside the other founding members was a high point, and a signifigant change in direction for Guilliam and for Henry. My favorite I.C. moment as Venom was defeating Dal Kugan in honorable combat at I -believe it was- the Invasion of Folkstone. The same event where I also separated the flame blades, disenchanting them. Oops.

Queen of Hearts 9 - 2002

What was your best moment as a NPC/EH/Player?
As an NPC it was probably playing the Duke of Slime. He was just a fun personality to play and was very intriguing throughout the old fae plot. As an EH, probably the night quest into another plane. We had set up noise makers, pyro, trip wire traps and moved the PC's into random locations to make the night quest realistic, out of element and scary for the PC's. We had to help one person off of the night quest who was seriously freaked out by this and the rest of the PC's were so immersed that their excitement could only make us more excited.

What would you like to see changed or developed more in game?
I would like to see more costuming and character development. It has gotten better, but there's always room to improve. I would like to see people transition away from asking the spell system to 'make them better' through pushing for more powers and see people go back to personal improvement, and practiced talents, both martial and problem solving. A game granted spell should not define a player or character- their ability to accomplish things should. It does not take the system to accomplish things.

What advice would you give new players?
Meet people. Don't listen to rumors or personal opinions of other players. Meet people for yourself. If you have a problem, go talk face to face with that person. Most people in the game are genuinely decent people, even if someone doesn't like them, and most problems are misunderstandings that can be resolved by face-to-face discussion. Take every opportunity to learn. There is a lot to be learned in the game. Leadership, craftsmanship, interpersonal skills, fitness, fighting, costuming, acting, diversity, respect, patients, loyalty, and all of these things can help develop a person's character. Not the one we play, the one we are. Also remember that you are never useless- anyone can help make the quest continue no matter how many spells you have or have run out of. Anyone can move arrows to an archer, run blocks, move bodies, healer support, scout, communicate, or even take command. If what you are doing doesn't work do something else. 

What do you love most about the game?
I love being able to get out and interact with my friends, fight them and laugh about it later. My favorite moments are the long siege fights (castle or bridge) when every hit counts and you're always one push away from a total win or a total loss. I love fighting overwhelming odds, and listening to (and telling) stories about what happened. I also enjoy the in-character political intrigue, again though, because I love to laugh about it with those players afterwards. 

Who would you like to see the next interview be with?
I dont know who has already done one, so i'll throw in a few names: Neil (Eldritch) [his interview can be read here], Kathy (Makhta), Ben (Rohde), PJ (PJ), David (Vawn).

Anything else you'd like to take the opportunity to put into print?
This community is full of personalities- you will get along with many, and not with others. You can learn from almost everyone, even if it isn't the lesson you expect to learn. Computers and rumors are the root of all evil, if you want to resolve an issue sit down with someone and listen to them, and speak with them. In combat, you will win and you will lose. Do both with grace. Honor begets honor, so always treat people with respect. Always remember to separate your character from your person, and if you think that the line is blurred, clean it up for yourself and make sure that the other players know where one ends and the other begins. It's ok to be 'evil' or 'gray' so long as you play with respect and aren't a bullying ass just for the sake of doing it, and so long as people know who you are when the costume is off. Go out of your way to contribute something to the game, teach people what you know and find someone to learn from. It is a game, but it can help you to grow as a person and to network in your real world life. Each player is from a different background, everyone is a teacher and a student. Thank you for a lot of years and hopefully a lot to come.