Friday, August 30, 2013

Blast From the Past - Part 18

Here we have April 1992. We have some more excellent eventholding articles along with an article on garb making, one which provides a recipe, stories and other interesting bits. Also the announcement of the birth of one of our current players is announced, if you do the math you can find out how old she is now. [Thanks to Janna "Iawen" Oakfellow-Pushee for the scans.]

Thursday, August 29, 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 Dustin Mack)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Why I Want to Go- Folkestone Questing 2013

Folkestone Questing 2013: War!
August 31, 2013 (Saturday 12pm) - September 2, 2013 (Monday 5pm)
Event Type:Questing

[Disclaimer: The author of this article is a member of the staff for this event.]

War comes to the Realms! This is a quest-style war wherein the players will be looking to stop the forces of the Shadowking as he attacks the Realms. Folkestone Questing has a reputation as being good, solid quest events and this one will be no different (ok, maybe even better than before). Saturday will feature the players questing for resources to augment their defenses, following by an all-out assault where their preparation will be put to the test. Sunday will offer up a chance to strike back at the Shadowking (assuming everyone is not dead at this point). Monday, we pick up the pieces. This event will feature lots of combat, lots of questing and lots of role-playing choices thrown into the mix. IT should be a good time for everyone.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

WYM - Knightings - Queen of Hearts 20

Photos by Jesse Gifford

Sir Nighthawk/Jeremy Grayson, Knight of the Eternal Flame

Dame Areni, Knight of Rhiassa

Sir Kyntella, Knight of Rhiassa

Sir Malaki, Templar of Vandor

Why I Want to Go- Feast of Folkestone XIV

Feast of Folkestone XIV
August 30, 2013 (Friday 7pm) - August 31, 2013 (Saturday 1am)
Event Type: Feast

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

This gathering has consistently shown itself as an excellent feast, winning Best Feast for many years. You can expect a diverse selection of food, all well prepared and tasty. This year will also see the Blackwood Casino, so come prepared to gamble. In addition, we will have the usual Folkestone Auction (so make sure to bring your Realms currencies) and the start of Table Wars! There is also rumor of a short nightquest opening up after the feast portion is over. This is an excellent event to relax and socialize with your Realms friends and eat some yummy food.With the quest event starting the next day on the same site, this is an excellent start to a full weekend of Realms action!

Monday, August 26, 2013

More Amazing Non Com's from QoH 20

Mask For Team Jinx's Trapper by Karmha


Team Killian's Garb by Koshka

Team Jinx's Banner by Jinx

Team Killian's Weapons by Killian

Team Tria's Banner by Tria

Team Killian's Banner and Heraldry by Liselle

Question of the Week - 107

Do you look forward to bardics or do you go off and do something else when they start?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Crafting- Team Killian's Trapper Entry

The following provides some detail on the creation of team Killian's trapper entry for Queen of Hearts 2013. We hope it will help inspire others to create new fantastical creatures.

While the finished product has many differences, initial inspiration for the creature was found on youtube called a stilt spirit.

The first thing we did was make stilts using plans found online. Then Zach spent some time practicing walking on them.

The frame for the back piece is made of pool noodle, filled in with camp foam, than covered with spray foam insulation.  After that it was spray painted. The piece is remarkably light and durable.

The mask was a hockey mask, built up with more spray foam insulation, than carved into shape with an electric carving knife, prior to spray painting. Yarn hair and battery powered tea light eyes were added.  It sits on the top of his head facing forward while his face points towards the ground.

The stilts and crutches were covered in camp foam than spray painted.

It started to come together

We added fabric and some additional foam over the crutches and it was set to go (there is a video of the final dress rehearsal in the Realms facebook group)

Fresh Faces- Conrad "Garharz" Barnes

How did you learn about Realms?
Photo by Robyn Nielsen
I've known about Realms since 2000 due to friends getting into it, plus knowing other Realm players via other gaming systems. It wasn't until 2013 that I chose to make the plunge and start doing it regularly as a hobby.

How many event have you been to?
As Garharz? Perhaps only 8 or so. Total Ever? add another 6-8 over the years. Mostly being some 1 off event lackey, or grunt NPC. Other times, I was just there for the company of the friends who were playing, so tending site and such.

Have you ever LARP’ed before?
Nope nope. Realms of Wonder has been my first and only (so far) exposure to LARP'n. Work with someone who's heavy into Legends, but know little about it.

What is your character like? Where are they from? What is their race? What is important to them?
What is Garharz like? Well.... he's like a blacksmith. Specifically, a mercenary blacksmith. He hails from the lands of the Northern Alliance and so follows many of the views commonly held by northmen. Garharz was born in a village called Mountain's Shadow (Fjellet Skygge in his native toungue), which resides north of Fort North Point. His home sits at the foot of a mountain range know as the Spear (Spyd). The Spear is home to a great many houses of dwarfs, and so Mountain's Shadow enjoys being a great entry point into the lands of the NA for the dwarves raw goods. From here, the products or raw materials will continue inland to Fort North Point. 
Garharz found his calling early on as a smith. Now and again a master dwarf would seek his fortunes above ground crafting in Fjellet Skygge, and understanding their supreme native abilities, Garharz would always seek to apprentice under them. While his skills as a blacksmith grew the need for more smiths inside his village unfortunately didn't not. Saying goodbye to the home he loves, and the parents who raised him was hard, but hardship is no stranger to those in the north.
At first Garharz planned to travel along the roads until settling down and becoming a town's blacksmith. It was with fortune, however, that at Fort North Point he crossed paths with a former master of his, Master Trian. Trian explained to his bright eyed young former apprentice (after much imbibing at the tavern) that being a blacksmith brought no riches. Even a dwarf such as Trian could only offer his wares near what others charged. To truly seek fortune in this profession, one must seek THOSE that seek fortune.
Thus, started Garharz' drive to seek his riches as a Forgemaster for hire. To arrive where help is needed, and, for a small retaining fee, help those adventurers. To one day retire and enjoy his aquired wealth in warmth, food, and drink. Within the company of trusted friends, hardened cohorts, and beautiful consorts. 

What do you remember most about your first event?
It was cold, and jumping on mattresses. No really, I think it was WinterFest 01? So my memory does it no favors. However, the cold stands out vividly. 
First event as Garharz proper? Well, that was Leviathan XV. Though I traveled to it with friends still playing Realms, I wasn't going to be given any special treatment because of OOC connections. Which, oddly, made the event amazing. To be turned down for conversation so coldly after approaching someone I knew for years helped solidify the aspect of RP I wanted to embrace. It was as I walked back to my seating I realized that, looking at it from an IC point, who was I to expect any different reaction from a complete stranger.
Also knowing no one, and knowing no one "knew" me, made for some fear filled moments when swords were drawn. Garharz even met a king, in person! The king nicely asked Garharz to move out of the corner he was cowering in, and the king didn't have time to explain why. His guard didn't stab Garharz or anything. (Which might have been a quicker way to obtain said defensive point.)
A few tiny things really made my first Garharz event fun and memorable. They certainly crafted a sense in me that I want to encourage in my time playing Realms. That some people, just want to lose themselves in the RP fantasy of Realms. 

What things have helped to make you feel welcome in game?
That mistakes are made and not intentional. That when I would ask questions, no matter how silly or stupid it might seem, I was never scoffed or rebuked for not knowing. That, even at my first event, I was talked to. I, in retrospect, blew it. (Nice pipe, story behind it? Nope, just some head shop cheap-o pos derp-a-derp. Oh, well good day then) But people would ID me as newbie and were inviting as people, even despite my natural derp tendencies.

What parts of the game do you find most challenging?
Challenging, but in a good way, is simply staying in character. Garharz has an obvious accent, and he has not grasped the common tongue perfectly. Trying to use simple means to explain harder concepts is, well, hard. Certainly even harder trying to do it on the fly, and smoothly. Practice will make perfect, until then, there might be large pauses in his conversatation. (A conversation that plays out in my head is that of a character trying to explain time travel.... it kinda boiled down to Tomorrow's tomorrow, tomorrow. Then even more tomorrows beyond that.)
Also, learning verbals, under pressure, in combat, with people needing that call, while others yelled at you.... I be damned if I don't have my repair item perfect now, but holy nuts that was a pressure cooker!

Do you have any game related goals (as either a player or character)?
(IC)Get rich, and don't die trying. 
(OOC)Perhaps starting to craft weapons, and armor for realms. Other useful items too. To not only be a blacksmith IC, but to have the wares available one would expect from a blacksmith. Also, to launch the crusade of wooden stools vs plastic + polyester sport chairs. Picking up best newcomer and best RP wouldn't be too bad either. 

What advice would you give other new players?
Not all important people LOOK important in realms. That Realms gives you what you put into it. Also extra  socks, duct tape, blankets, sunscreen and bug spray will earn you so many friend cookies. 

What have you enjoyed most about the game so far?
The people. The stories that are crafted in front of your eyes. The happiness of seeing a familiar face and a warm grin when you arrive at site. Also, not going to lie, getting my name guessed first during the game-show portion of Pressure Point: Flashback was a huge ego boost. (Even if I was the wrong answer) Just a little something that meant I was doing okay, so far. 

Anything else you'd like to take the opportunity to put into print?
Oh, yeah! Wait... no, I had something for this. Oh... dammit. Come back to me, I'll have something good I promise.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

What You MIssed- Queen of Hearts (part 4)

Photos By Jesse Gifford

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 Dustin Mack)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Jabberwocky- Sung for the Bardic by Mitty Magoo Representing Team Jinx at QoH 20


Lewis Carroll

(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
  The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
  The frumious Bandersnatch!"
He took his vorpal sword in hand:
  Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
  And stood awhile in thought.
And, as in uffish thought he stood,
  The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
  And burbled as it came!
One, two! One, two! And through and through
  The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
  He went galumphing back.
"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
  Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
  He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What You Missed- Queen of Hearts 20 (part 3)

Photos by Casey Lemay

Why I Want to Go- Festival of Val Dara IV

Festival of Val Dara IV
August 23, 2013 (Friday 7pm) - August 25, 2013 (Sunday 3pm)
Event Type: Tournaments, Questing

As shown in the past this is a really fun 3-day event. There are a bunch of tourneys, along with a bunch of interesting ones that will challenge your real life skills along with combat. The tourneys look to challenge everyone; fighter, mage, thief or bard. There will also be questing going on at appropriate times. Show up, hang out, play if you want to, watch the fun if you want to. Basically this looks like a relaxed weekend of fun.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Troll King's Bride- An Epic Poem by Forge (Tucker Noyes)

Our heroes six set of to South, Far North from Folkestone Hall A mix of black, blue, white and gold To heed the Heart Queens call, First among them was from Folkestone General Mestpoh, proud and bold With an iron will and magic strong And disposition of the old Second in line marched a man of the Mark General Kahlenar in gold and black With a sword as sharp as his wit Though little had he tact The seneschal was third on the march Dame Phoenix, Knight and Mage A healer, smith, with combat spells And wisdom of a sage Fourth comes her apprentice Kaelkatar A caster young but frightening The Queens Champion Mage Armed with spells of lightning Fifth marched the mighty champion The youngest of the team Raynor Skyline stands tall and proud And held high in esteem Finally came the parties Queen One who comes armed to the tooth For Killian went and aimed to win And hoped that to be the truth The six set off, to the Queen of Hearts, Traveling far to Cold Springs A short day’s journey turned much longer Due to beasts and nasty things Not long after crossing into Rhiassa The group had stopped to wait For their fair Queen to relieve himself Down by the rivers straights Long had passed since Killian left His party thought that queer When they went to seek him out Killian was not near A set of tracks turned into two Down by the rivers bed Captured they thought, so they endeavored To follow where they lead. Not long did they travel until they found A troll so foul and mean The supporters drew arms and shouted “Where have you taken our Queen!” “Your puny queen, we have taken To our mighty king, Where she will be presented With her marriage ring” “For the troll kings knows a true king must Have a bride to be And your queen is the prettiest troll That our king has seen.” With that Kahlenar jumped to action As he rolled across the ground His sword swinging wildly to and fro But a quarry nary found The giant troll took his opportunity And raised his axe on high And brought it down upon Kahlenar Cutting chest to thigh But Phoenix wasted no time here And moved to heal his ail With a few magic words she had restored His injuries and his maille Again Kahlenar leapt into the fray Piercing the trolls tough skin And the troll fell dead in its tracks ‘Neath Kahlenars menacing grin So forth set the supporters to a cave Following the remaining trail As it lead to tunnel dark and deep As they entered the darkling veil Through the tunnel they traversed the cave Until they came to a chasm far and wide A rope bridge once made a crossing Was cut from the other side But Mestoph stepped and with all his might He shouted through the cave While echoes of his mighty voice Repeated the speech he gave “Kurt this is nonsense There’s places we must be These stones above may be stubborn But not as much as me” The stalactites trembled at his might And fell from the upper ridge Down they plunged across the gorge And formed a stony bridge So again they traveled forward Out of the cave they came A second troll was waiting for them But our heroes were too brave “Turn back you tiny humans, Our king will have his wedding day There is not a thing that you can do So you might as well turn away. But Kael had grown tired of these trolls And stepped up to end this dolt With a crack of thunder and a flash of light He hurled his lightning bolt In a moment the troll questioned decisions As the lightning flew through air But all the troll had time to do Was give a moonstruck stare Finally they came to a mighty tower That rose up to the clouds The doors were sealed and barred But a top they could hear sounds “Puny human you will be my queen And together shall we rule And conquer all Rhiassa From that short loud-mouthed fool” Far below Raynor drew his sword And up the tower climbed Hearing the ceremony coming to close As he was running out of time “My queen I vow to care for you And you I shall protect” But Raynor reached to top And exclaimed “I object!” The troll king was quite furious And roared and ugly roar And brought his blade down upon Raynor With all the strength he bore But Raynor was quick to act And dodged the troll kings blow He drove his sword into the troll kings heart And felled and mighty foe

Question of the Week - 106

If you could add 1 new combat call, what would it be?

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Winning Gyro Recipes- Queen of Hearts 20

Effa- photo by Casey Lemay
By Mullet and Rose (Robert and Cathy Hopkins)

Gyro Meat:
1 Medium Onion, chopped
2 pounds ground lamb (or beef)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon marjoram
1 tablespoon ground rosemary
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepperChop onion, and place into a tea towel. Squeeze the water out of the onions in the tea towel, then place onions into a food processor/blender. Add ground lamb (or beef), and all seasonings. Process until the meat is a paste.
Place the meat onto plastic wrap, and create a loaf shape. Roll meat in the plastic wrap to tighten up the loaf, and twist the ends. Place meat in the fridge for two hours to firm up the shape.
Use rotisserie, or place on a rack above a shallow pan of water to roast at 325 degrees. Cook until 365ish degrees, and let stand until internal temperature reaches 375 degrees. Slice to fit your pita.

Tzatziki sauce:
16 ounces of plain yogurt
1 medium sized cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped.
Salt to taste (pinch)
4 cloves of minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
6 minced fresh mint leaves

Place yogurt into a tea towel above a bowl to drain in the fridge for two hours.

Place cucumber into a tea towel, and squeeze out excess liquid, and place into a bowl. Combine all ingredients into the bowl. Serve on Gyros. (Tastes better if cooled overnight).

To create Gyros:
Add meat, and Tzatziki sauce. Common additions are diced tomatoes and chopped onions. Lettuce, feta, and other common sandwich toppings are popular as well. It’s your gyro, so add the toppings you love!

Additional ingredients:
Pita Bread
Foil to wrap Gyro
Additional Toppings as desired

10 Questions - Andrew "Kulic" Karcz

Andrew "Kulic" Karcz

How long have you been playing?
Photo by Lina Weldell

My first event was Knights of the Eternal Flame Tournaments 2011, which is about two and a half years by my count

How has the game changed since you've been playing?
For the most part, I've seen a lot of stellar new people join our community, which is nice to see new ideas brought in

Who have you learned the most from?
Ah, this is a toss-up between Josh Learned, who has always been ready to kill me (sometimes even at practice.)  and Mike Doherty.

What was your best moment IC?
Feast of Leviathan 2012, when I was initiated into the Church of Arius

What was your best moment as a NPC/EH/Player?
As a player, when I (personally) realized my own potential as a fighter, earlier this year. One day, I just realized I wanted to be one of the best, so I began learning from the best.

Photo by Lina Weldell
What would you like to see changed or developed more in game?
Rule wise, I would like to see some work done on the Alchemist path. IMO, I feel it is less its own path, more of a grab bag from several other paths.
Community wise, some more role play oriented events.

What advice would you give new players?
Never stop learning. Bored during a quest? Chat up an oldbie. Not fighting in a tournament? Do some sparring on the sidelines

What do you love most about the game?
How close the community has become to me. I can't even remember the last time I went a week without talking to SOMEONE from Realms

Who would you like to see the next interview be with?
Tom Burchell (the new one) or Aimee Berube

Anything else you'd like to take the opportunity to put into print?
Taste the mead at Festival of Val Dara! [which is being held August 23-August 25]

Thursday, August 15, 2013

What You Missed- Queen of Hearts 20 (part 2)

Photos by Angie Gray

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 Dustin Mack)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Crafting- The Pope Mobile from Faust's Ritual for the Mage's Tournament at QoH 20

This creature was originally made for the Dragon Master event and was reused as a prop in Faust's ritual. 

The original frame of dragon before pipe foam was added for safty and comfort

 Head was sheet foam with a plastic netting stuffed with cotton and then wrapped with plastic wrap and duct tapped

One wing with finish craft foam sheet scales

Wing were attached and blue camp foam was put on for back comfort all joints in pvc were covered with foam as well

The State of Fighters in the Realms by David "Callin" Dolph

Fighters are currently in the best and worst place in the history of the Realms.

Fighters are currently in the best place in the history of the Realms.
-Practices are robust; there are a number of them throughout the week. Practices see large numbers of attendance. Practices cover different geographical areas that follows the area the Realms covers. Practices range in skill level, providing learning atmospheres for beginners and the more advanced fighters. Practices are in a good place.
-The Order of the List has changed the landscape of fighters for the better. It creates goals for fighters; it gives them something to achieve within a quantitative environment. This new level of competition and testing has increased fighter participation at events drawing people to events they would not normally have attended. This increased participation feeds on itself causing more people to participate. The Order of the List has created an overall greater interest in fighting.

Fighters are currently in the worst place in the history of the Realms.
-The gap between beginning fighters and skilled fighters has grown too wide. With the increased active participation of the more skilled fighters, it means that the less skillful are being left behind. It can be quite frustrating to continually be beaten. New fighters need to see a progression of their skills or they will move away from fighting to other aspects of the Realms, such as spellcasting. Sure, we can say that increased practice on the part of newer players will eventually overcome this gap, but in the mean time we are losing potential fighters to frustration. For some people, getting continually beaten into the ground is not fun, certainly not when there are other ways to play in this game.
-Fighter participation in quests has reached an all-time low. Why is that? Part of the reason is because fighters are looking to exercise their martial skills and they are not getting that at quest events. The majority of quest events do not facilitate this. This is for several reasons…
-NPC abilities. Due to low NPC counts EHs stack up their NPCs with special combat abilities, abilities that negate martial skill. Being killed by a boulder, an armor-piercing attack or a monster that is invulnerable to weapons requires little skill on the part of the NPC. Superior martial skill can seldom counter such abilities. Martial skill becomes a non-factor in these types of encounters.
-Death has no meaning. A fighter with superior martial skill can keep himself alive for extended combats, all the while killing the enemy. An inferior fighter will die quicker. However, due to the rampant proliferation of raise dead spells/mechanics an unskilled fighter will return to a fight as quickly as a skilled fighter. While promoting participation is a good thing, without consequences there is an erosion of fighter skill and desire. Poor fighters do not have to gain martial skill because there is little to no consequence of having poor skill. Skilled fighters see that martial skill gains no benefit over an unskilled fighter and thus the desire to excel diminishes; why exert yourself if you will just get back up in moments? There is no reward for being skilled; the reward used to be the ability to stay alive but spells have eroded that reward to where skill is no longer a factor as to how much time a fighter spends dead or alive.
-Skill is not a factor in quests. This one is similar to the above point. While most quests end up with a fight between the heroes and the big bad guy, martial skill is not the determining factor in winning the battle. All too often the final fight is determined by the expenditure of raises, not by martial prowess. All too often fighters are relegated to “protecting the casters” from the crunchies while the casters win the final fight through a ritual. This includes other fights during the day that are won by having more spells/raise deads than the number of deaths the NPCs perpetuate on the heroes. Fighters want fighting to be relevant to the outcome. If they lose a good fight but then a caster gets back up and raises the site, it reinforces the fact that fighters are meaningless. Too often a fighter will end an event wondering what they actually contributed. This then leads to them wondering if they will go to another quest event.

What are some things we can possibly do to alleviate the problems we are facing?
-We need to find a way to encourage newer fighters and also those mid-level fighters that can still improve. Newbie tourneys are a good start but perhaps we need to create a mid-level set of tournaments as well. Perhaps we need to have specialized tournaments wherein only those who have won a tournament before are allowed to enter and are removed from the general tourneys. It would be creating an arena where the best fight the best and the rest fight each other. We need to strike a balance between promoting the best in fighters and allowing the newer fighters to progress without overwhelming frustration.
-Event Holders need to realize the needs of fighters. Fighters do not want to simply use weapons and fight. They want their martial prowess to be tested and to be effective. They want to be rewarded for having martial skill, which is entirely different than simply wielding a weapon. There need to be more encounters that require martial skill and where the consequences of the fight are tangible, whether the fight is won or lost.

The state of fighters can be improved but it will take a conscious effort to do so.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013