Thursday, August 30, 2018

Getting to Know Paul "Decion" Fournier Via Multiple Voices

(Photos by Angela "Phoenix" Gray)

I have known Dec for 22 years, in that time I have never seen him anything but smiling.  Paul is one of the nicest people I’ve met through realms, and is always willing to lend a hand if you need it. Dec is also fun to hang out with outside of game, and has brought numerous of his kids into the game at one point or another. Totally aside, he is a pretty good healer also, even if he only uses wooden weapons. ~ Jeremy "Nighthawk" Grayson

At my first queen of hearts, I was in a castle battle, apparently it got around that at the time I had the spell disrupt. Phoenix put me up in a tower and the one I went in had Dec and Sarah. Dec pulled me up with a smile and he and Sarah provided me with coverage from the pike men while I disrupted their.... I THINK it was their mystic forge. After it got disrupted we managed to push past their line and win! He played a direct part in not only making me feel welcome, but also being the reason I was first able to feel like... well feel like a hero~ Tanner "Sera" Wilson

I think my very first Dec memory was one that many people have experienced.

I was at my first Folkestone Questing event and Dec was the magic marshal. I was very new , and this was all pretty exciting, I was extra excited because I was learning another spell this event.

I go up to Dec, show him my spellbook, he asks if I need to learn any spells, and I nod and tell him which one. He thinks for a moment and says to me, "Collect 100 pine cones for me."

I'm not sure how often he used that before me, but I know he has used it countless times since then, and it still remains a classic.

By the way, I did collect the pine cones more than once in my Realms career.~ Jason "Malaki" Gray

Memories of Past Folkestone Questing Events

Photo by Angela Gray
Well, I don’t really remember it, but I woke up with succubus horns.~ Hannah "Nhdala" Blood

Well, I was made a Templar of Vandor at a Feast of Folkestone! I did my first ritual with Hygar at Folkestone Questing. It's where I got turned into a werewolf. The only two people I've ever scalped (Avendar and Hygar) both got scalped by me at Folkestone Questing. ~ Renee "Kindrianna" Booke

Photo by Dustin Mack
Photo by Jesse Gifford

I cant remember for sure what year it was, but most likely between '09 to '11 as I was still fairly new to Realms. I dont remember much about what was happening, we were in the fort trying to break through a wall (the back door) after doing whatever was being done there. I guess it needed a large number of scalping blows with hammers to break through, so people started calling for everyone with a hammer. I just so happened to have my giant 4lb hammer with me. Once I heard the call come back looking for hammers, I knew this was my time. I raised my weapon in the air and started making my way to the back. I may be remembering wrong but Im pretty sure there were at least a few cheers. I have no idea how far along the scalping was, but when I got there I gave one swing of my hammer and the passage burst open. In the grand scheme of things it really wasnt much, but as a newer player with a ridiculous weapon it was nice to feel extremely useful, if only for a moment.~ Dustin "Toah" Mack

Photo by Angela Gray

There are far too many memories to put down - I have always loved FSQ. As a PC and as staff, I have played in some incredible adventures, and created some fantastic and memorable moments.  Here are
a few, though they are only a sampling of the incredible memories I have.
*Listening to Grimantusz talk about how he needed a tether, and speaking up as a volunteer before knowing the consequences (it worked out... sorta).
Standing with Shalindra
Shal: Do you hear that?
Photo by Angela Gray
Freesia: Yeah... is it... ?!
run toward the music, enter a night-club
Shal: Huh
Freesia: This isn't right.
Vampires raise hands to ceiling, blood rains down
Freesia: SHIT! RUN!
((Matt D and someone else had a death grip on my arm, we had to physically fight our way out before becoming Blade vampires))
Photo by Robyn Nielsen
From the NPC Side: When we did the Voodoo world. Really, my role was supposed to be a little bit of flavor. It turned out that everyone wanted to see what the fire on the dock was. Instead of a few people coming out to chat with me, the ENTIRE EVENT came to talk. Poor Henry was accidentally knocked into the water when he tried to leave (it's only 2.5-ish feet wide people!).
With this same role, while telling 'fortunes', I managed to change some of the flow of the event through magic. Players believed everything I said, and because of this Jason G. and Matt D. (the MMs for the event) went out and changed the event!
Being a sleeping skunk. Essentially I played a 40 minute game of Red Light/Green Light with players. ~ Beth "Freesia" Tozier

What You Missed- Demonic Invasion IV by Ben "Pilpus" Lacasse

One thing I’ve never been able to say before that I can now, the event began the moment I stepped on site.  Arriving at 8 o clock, we had just enough time to change our clothes and grab our weapons, and then we were off into the night to do some hardcore gardening for Rubarb.  After we mowed the lawn, we had our generals step forward, Elizah (Constructs), Evie (Fiends) and a roguish type who’s name escapes me at the moment (success in his part I guess?) who took leadership of the Beasts.  Evie and her team, almost as soon as they were selected, went off to guard the western flank from any demons that might try to break our ranks while the Constructs and Beasts made their way into an ancient temple in Kel’var, where we would unearth some groundbreaking information. 

After a series of puzzles and grueling battles with the demonic forces that had overtaken this once holy place, we stumbled across an ancient tomb that ominous statues had been directing us towards the throughout the night. Here we found the desecrated tombs of the 9 elder guardians, those who began the cycle of life as we know it, but in the wake of Coia Orn’s destruction 1 has risen and has assumed command of demonic forces, Batu. In an attempt to give the Forest of Kel’var the ability to fight back against its oppressor, James Swift, Cara and I performed a ritual to send the natural spirits of Erowan to aide them, but the spirits were so long dead and decimated that it had no effect other than to have the demonic force opposing us laugh in our face.

“9 began the cycle, and 9 will be its end as well”, the statues prophecies foretold and with Batu on the rise again, we can only assume there’s worse to come as the other 8 awaken, but Batu alone is an extremely formidable force.  All three teams spent the rest of their time repelling his demonic forces and taking down his war beasts from sunset on Saturday well into the day on Sunday.

During the day on Saturday though, to prepare for the oncoming legion, all three teams competed against each other to hone their skills in intricate and well thought out tournaments that Rubard arranged so that we would be in peak physical and mental condition when the Legion landed.  Evie’s team emerged victorious, but every team fought valiantly and proved their worth on the field.

There is much more work to be done in the Forest of Kel’var, as the Elder Guardians rise, we are the only thing that stands between life as we know it and it’s complete destruction.  Send your aid, my eyes in forest sense an enormous storm brewing.  The calm is eerie, but it’s wrath I’m sure will be terrible.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Behind The Scenes- Auction Items

Hi all!!  Curious to get a sneak peak at a spiffy item that you can buy at the benefit auction on Friday??  Not only are these items works of art and for a worthy cause (supporting Paul "Decion" Fournier and family), but if you bid on the swords you'll be getting a piece of history. They are the first two plasti dip swords Cal "Syruss" Marsden  has produced.  This is just one of multiple quality Neden forged pieces that will be up for bid.

And boys and girls if you want to do this at home take the time to also watch the behinds video series and learn how one of the swords was made.

The First Step
Making The Shape
The Contact Cement Process
Adding a Layer of Foam
Adding Squishy Foam
Securing The Squishy Foam
Shaping the Foam
The Tip
The Core
The Handle
Reinforcing the Tip and Handle
Laying the Craft Foam
Plasti Dipping
Liquid Dipping the Seams
Starting To Paint
Making a Warped Metal Effect
Completing The Painting Process
The Finished Product

Why I Want to Go-Feast of Folkestone XIX and Folkewood Questing 2018

by Lani "Gwen" Jones

It’s hard for me to know where to begin when I’m telling you why I want to go to Feast of Folkestone and Folkewood Questing this weekend. How do you quantify an event is such a staple on so many of our Realms’ calendars? This weekend is sure to be one that captivates your appetite, both for great food and great fun. I’ve had the pleasure to be at this event as both a player and staff, and no matter what side of the aisle I’m on, I’ve always had a blast, and I know you will too.

I’ve had a sneak preview of the menu this year, and let me tell you, all the stops have been pulled out. When these guys say “Brunch is What’s for Dinner” they really and truly mean it. We are talking about homemade bread, garden fresh veggies, and homemade with love sweets and savories of all kinds. Bring your appetite, but also bring your green and gold. Gamble, participate in Dessert Wars, and generously bid at the auction to benefit Paul Fournier. Between the food and the festivities, it’s an evening you definitely don’t want to miss.

I would be remiss if I didn’t gush over the excellent questing you are sure to encounter this weekend as well. This EH staff is excited to share with you their new and creative ideas to keep you engaged and entertained all weekend. No matter your play style, you are sure to walk away with a sense of excitement that only an epic weekend of questing can bring. This staff works hard to ensure that you are immersed throughout the whole weekend, and in addition to providing tons of opportunity for high quality combat and roleplay, you can also visit their in-character tavern and snag a delicious bite to eat for some gold.

Honestly, I don’t know what else people do on Labor Day weekend, because me, I’ll be right where I belong, and I hope to see you all there.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Arc Sphere Distortions Continued...

By the View Staff based on Steven Matulewicz series

Friday, August 24, 2018

10 Questions with an Event Holder- Jason Gray

Photo by Robyn Nielsen

1. What events have you previously thrown?

I threw my first event in 1998, The Dark Crystal, after that I did Northern Games (Ghetto Games for a few years), and in 2000 I also started being part of the Folkestone Event Holding Team, so many years of Feast of Folkestone, Folkestone Questing, Convergences and North South War. I've thrown a few other solo events, most notably, The Price of a Soul which was the event where Orcus was destroyed.

2. What led you to start throwing events?

Even when I was a little kid I created stories in my head about things, and, when I learned about D&D and then Realms, I knew it was only a matter of time before I would want to share those stories and create experiences for other people.

3. What would you like your events to be known for?

We should all be doing this to have fun. Fun can mean different things to different people, so I always try to make sure there are many different things going on to entertain as many people as possible.

4. What aspect of event holding do you consider most challenging?

The most challenging thing for me is that I don't get to choose when my creative muse comes to visit. Most years for Folkestone Questing it will be a few days before the event and I'll still be writing, much to the chagrin of my propmakers. Heck, there have even been events where I've been coming up with content literally minutes before it needs to get run.

Plot can be really challenging to write, and trying to tie in good mechanics with the right amount of cohesive story is a difficult art form.

5. Tell us about an event moment that you are particularly proud of?

Photo by Angela Gray
It's not a moment, but the whole Shadow King plot overall. I am profoundly grateful that Dave let us help bring that to life with him. There were so very many memories that were created for players from that plot. The very end scene where Nadia Cooke was rowed in by the Grey Man to collect Jonas Cooke after his trial was amazing. 80+ players all watching reverently as Robyn Nielsen read her epic poem about the Shadow King , and not a single sound was uttered. It might also have a special place in my heart because it was Dave's last event, but it was the most perfect ending to that plot and every single person involved either as a player or as staff made it what it was.

6. Tell us about something that went wrong and what you learned from it.

We all screw up at some point. I feel as though mine came at the end of The Demon Chronicles just after the players had managed to kill Lucius the Red. I made a bad call that killed and scalped most of the players that were directly involved in his death, and several of them had been integral to the plot. They got back up quickly enough, but I feel as though it took away from their victory and didn't really add anything to the story. Basically, I broke the rule #1 (see below) and that was when that rule really it home for me.

7. What do you think makes an event site “good” and how have you gone about locating sites?

I admit, I cheat on this one. I am also spoiled. Folkestone has used Lone Tree for 24? years at this point. We love it. It has a great tavern, bathrooms, some cabins and good tenting area, parking, it's private, a beach and a great separate staff area. All of these things aren't a necessity but they sure do help.

As for finding new sites, in the past it's usually been "So and so told me about this place, I should check it out."

8. Have you managed to maintain a balanced budget? Any advice for other event holders on doing that?

Photo by Beth Tozier
Let me just read this prepared statement, "Maintaining a balanced budget is very important, and you should always underestimate how many players you think you will have when it comes to money. You should always seek to borrow items whenever possible."

In reality though, I am fortunate enough to only have to worry about roughly staying near budget. When I throw events I fully expect that I will lose some money. For me, throwing events is a gift back to the community. To help mitigate, I try to compare what my cost of an effect or food will be versus the impact it will have. Bonus if I can reuse the item (not the food!)

I do try to borrow items where I can as the Realms EH's have an impressive stash of items and props at this point.

Feasts are a whole different animal...for that I really do recommend working with an experienced feastocrat the first few times (Thanks Tanja!)

9. What staff positions do you feel are essential to running your events and what do you do to help empower and support them?

Again, I have been really spoiled to have worked with the Folkestone Event Team for so very long. For the longest time, Dave Dolph was our behind the scenes plot guy, Jarrod and Tom were the combat leads, and I was the Player marshall (magic marshall, but really more than that). We have switched up some names, but those basic roles are still there. We also have a couple of wonderful Prop Organizers (Rori and Liz) who take lead on keeping things, well, organized!

But really, it's a group effort and I try to empower as many people as is feasible in just doing what needs to be done. If Matt B is running a mod and comes back and says, "Hey, X just happened", we roll with it and let the event evolve to accept that. Give your staff some agency to make decisions and you'll probably get a good amount of buy in and excitement.

Above, I mentioned I was the Player Marshal as opposed to a Magic Marshal. Sure, I answered most of the magic related questions at our events, but I was also a liaison between the players and our Plot Master. I would let Dave know what the players were thinking, if they were having fun, how the pacing was going, and I learned so very many things about character backstories to work them into the events we threw.

Most importantly though, all those wonderful people who put on NPC blacks for you!

10. What advice do you have for other Event Holders?

Dave Dolph was my EH mentor and impressed upon me some fundamental rules:

1. Never punish the players for doing the right thing.
2. The less you need a marshal to explain something, the better it is.
3. Try to avoid extra combat calls
4. A scared player is better than a dead character.
5. Make player choices matter
6. Make it fun for your staff, they are volunteers

You don't have to follow all the rules all the time, just make sure you have calculated out the pro's and con's when you do decide to stray.

Probably the most important piece of advice, which I guess I'll make #7 is that You should be attempting to throw an event that players will enjoy.

I like to think that Folkestone Questing has been successful for so long is that utmost goal is that our players have fun. We try to throw events with a mix of action, role playing, puzzles, moral conundrums, realistic villains and so much more.

11. What can we look forward to seeing form you in the foreseeable future?

Well, there are these two little events you may have heard about, Feast of Folkestone, and FolkeWood Questing...and while I won't personally be at Feast of Blackwood, I will be doing some writing for them.

The FolkeWood Initiative is discussing when we will wrap up the stories we are currently telling, and after that, some people (looking at you Mr. Rosa) would like to see me tackle Teng Hua plot. Another idea I have tossed around is a premium one day questing event with a higher than average price tag, with a player limit on it. I'd be looking at providing a high production value and excellent experience. Maybe the two ideas are related, maybe they aren't, you'll just have to wait and see.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Getting to Know Paul "Decion" Fournier by Mike "Panther" Palumbo

All photos from the Southern Waste Gallery
Decion loves fantasy. He started in the very infancy of this game, during a time when there was still so much that hadn't yet been done. In a game where character schtick was wide open, he pioneered the druid, even going so far as to build his sword to resemble a wooden staff with brown duct tape bark and green tape leaves hanging off it every so often.

Dec loves this game. He is obsessed with the realism and immersion elements of the game. Once he and other Folkestoners sat atop a rocky crag in Darkvale, commanded to hold that point, regardless of the rain. The enemy trodd up and down the path, but never made any attempt to take the point up where they were. While the rest of them grumbled about the lack of action and the rain and the waste of time, Dec went on about how real it was, and how that's exactly what people would have had to do in their situation in ancient times. It was sooo real!

Dec loves humor, he has a subversive dry wit that catches you off guard. He loves puns so much that his friends began to hit him when he said one, soon they'd hit him whenever anyone said one, eventually they would demand "somebody hit Dec!" whether he was there or not.

Dec loves his friends, as an original member of Folkestone he considers them his nuclear family, within the larger family of the realms. He wears his colors proudly, gives back to the community, introduced his children to the Realms, and sees the value in every individual.

Dec loves healing. That's not just a game mechanic to him. He can probably count the number of time he's actually swung his sword (stick) in the near 30 years he's been playing, but the number of Heal Limbs, and Raise Deads is likely a record were anyone ever able to record it. The dry erase board in his hospital room says Rise and Fight. He's going to fight to heal.

Dec loves the Realms and the Realms loves Dec.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Then and Now

Recently those of us who've been playing a very long time have been noticing that those we met when they were being carried around an event site, or toddling, or at the very least began there Realms career prior to middle school are all grown up and driving themselves to events, dominating questing, and frankly kicking our asses.  

In case you didn't notice here are a few of them then and now.

Dagger (Edward Veno) 1995

Dagger (Edward Veno)

Eevee (Sarah Fournier) 2001
Evee (Sarah Fournier)

Alaya (Morgan Butler) 2010 

Alaya (Morgan Butler)

Tempest (Lynn Butler) with her parents 2001

Tempest (Lynn Butler)

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Why I Want to Go-Demonic Invasion IV

by Lani "Gwen" Jones

If you are looking for a twist on questing, tournaments, and food, then Demonic Invasion IV is for you. This coming weekend, you can explore the scourge that has befallen the Forest of Kevlar, and help to reclaim lands that have been ravaged by the Legion of Discord. This event features a lot of new and interesting mechanics and brings together some of the best the Realms has to offer in a unique way. Upon arrival, prepare to be split into teams that will compete against each other to win the Legion Battles. The three teams will compete against each other in a series of tournaments on Saturday, but will also be working with and against each other during the questing portions of the event. The night quests have been broken into smaller blocks, each one advancing part of the ongoing plot. If you dare to engage, be forewarned that each segment is sure to be a real fight because you are going to be fighting against NPCs who are made up of members of other teams that you are competing against as part of the larger tournament. Sunday will feature a big battle where members of the winning team will compete as part of the Legion of Discord.

The EH team has clearly spent a great deal of time thoughtfully creating an event that PCs will enjoy. There are unique spells to use throughout the event, different classes to choose from, and plot and tournaments have been carefully woven together to create an immersive and engaging world. Be sure to check out the Demonic Player’s Handbook for full descriptions so that you are ready to dive right in on Friday night. And, as always, it wouldn’t be a Why I Want to Go if I didn’t mention the food. Word on the street involves pork butt and bacon, and I can’t imagine that being anything other than straight up delicious, especially when prepared by this EH team. As a side note, if you aren’t exhausted by your evening’s quest, there will also be a Stacked Deck tournament on Friday night.

If you’ve been feeling the itch to get out and quest and fight since Queen of Hearts, make time to come to Demonic Invasion IV. The EH team has clearly put a lot of effort into this event, and it would be well worth your time to see what they’ve come up with.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Arc Sphere Distortions Continued...

By the View Staff based on Steven Matulewicz series

Friday, August 17, 2018

What You Missed - QoH XXV Photo Edition

photos by View staff
The Opening Ceremonies

Introducing Team Phoenix

Team Salt Queen's True Supporters

Team Arryn's Introduction

A Hectic Beginning to a Game of Targetball

A Myerling Queen in Rhiassan Live Chess

Team Salt Queen's Queen Moves Forward

Team Phoenix Attacks the Castle

A Battle in the Castle Gate Between Team Salt Queen and Team Phoenix

The Loremaster part of the Aces Tournament
A Bullseye Knife Throw in Marksman

Stacking VHUs in Grand Teamwork

Sword and Shield Squad Tournament

The Cleaved Competitors Show Their Stuff
Ping Pong Ball Throwing in the Challenge Race
The Puzzle Relay in the Challenge Race

Team Grand Melee

Queen's War
Another View of Queen's War

The Awards Ceremony