Monday, May 10, 2021

Meme Monday

by the Meme Team


 

Friday, May 7, 2021

Home Questing Task 28: Results!

 by Christopher "Janus" Donnelly


Hi all, and welcome to Home Questing.  I wanted something upbeat and wholesome this week, so I asked you to submit something you are proud of.  And I really enjoyed seeing what people were proud of.


The first submission was this award from Belle Vivid:




The second submission I received are these creations from Cressida

https://photos.app.goo.gl/CmKeiygF25rCRzQr5


Our third great submission from DelHemar is this recognition he received: “my weekly d&d table just finished an almost 2 year campaign,  and when I asked what they were interested in next,  they unanimously agreed they wanted to go back to an experimental system I had developed and run 6 or so years ago. When they started talking about the previous game,  telling our new player who wasn't around to experience our first run in that system about it,  it made me really proud that 4-5 years after that game ended they still remember it so fondly. And they would rather play a new game in my system rather than in d&d.”


Our penultimate submission from Kovaks is one of self improvement: “My Improvements to my mental health over the past 10 years”


And last, but not least is Janus’ physical health, which as he put it “I have successfully exercised every day so far this year, and have traveled by foot a total of 545 miles this year so far.”


Everyone who submitted gets full points this week (10 points plus one point for participation), so I will just post the scores so far:


  • Cressida - 258
  • DelHemar - 247.5
  • Laika en'Naur - 48
  • Kovaks - 37
  • Saka - 32
  • Aeston, Areni, and Gwen - 26.5
  • Iawen - 20
  • Belle Vivid - 20
  • Bart - 19
  • Orion - 13
  • Keras - 13
  • Tuilli - 11
  • Vawn - 10
  • Syruss - 10
  • Jerrick Jerrickson - 10
  • Luc-Dubois Coupant - 9
  • Osa - 8
  • Axel - 7
  • Rita - 7
  • Kwido - 6
  • J'reth - 5
  • Nalydros - 5
  • Rosetta - 5
  • Sagart Hawkshade - 5
  • Tarun Ul-Sikar - 5
  • Thayet - 5
  • Vanduke - 4
  • King Alexander Cecil - 2.5
  • Jace - 2
  • Kara Nithisdottir - 1.5
  • Thoril - 1.5



See you next week!



Thursday, May 6, 2021

The Cry of Midgard Week 7

 And now, our adventure continues inside the strange house we stumbled into!







Create and vote for what to do next on Facebook!

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Morning Coffee Break

Got your morning cup of coffee and a few minutes? Great! We're trying out a new feature at the View - we're going to be asking a series of questions and we want to know your answers! The question is posted below. So while you sip your morning beverage of choice, ruminate on this one:


What would you say inspired the creation of your character the most (work of fiction, game, etc)?


Head on back to Facebook and let us know in the comments!

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Core Elements of Eventholding: The Gardener and the Architect

 Event holding is a complex art. It has a lot of moving parts, and capturing all of them in a single article would be pretty daunting. So I would rather break it down into smaller chunks and parse it out a little better. Today I’m going to talk a little bit about writing. 


I’ve spent a good amount of the time of my eventholding career writing plot for Blackwood events. Invariably standing in front of the whiteboard at the Blackwood crafting studio, muttering to myself as I try to untangle my thoughts in a way that would be functional for the rest of the team. When really, I’m just trying to outline the course of the event for them. 


So for me, my instinct says I should be writing like an architect for events. Architects, or planners, plotters, or outliners; are people that lay out the course of the event in detailed outlines before getting into the gritty details of what’s happening. Some people fall into this category very comfortably. They can outline with finite detail, and allow themselves to map out an event, and it makes sense for them. 


Personally, I have a harder time with architecture, as I said.


The reason that it can be a challenge for me is because I am more comfortable writing in a way that might be described as “gardening” or “pantsing”. Gardening, coined by George R. R. Martin, refers to a writer who writes the bulk of their work as they go. Letting it sort of blossom into the piece that it’s meant to be, and then painstakingly editing it after. 


The problem with that idea is that you cannot edit after a LARP event. Not in a way that feels good for a story for anyone anyway. People lived the experience you provided for them, and changing it after the fact generally doesn’t feel good. Another problem is that to execute a gardening style of eventholding within the Realms, is that you’d basically be winging it from encounter to encounter. 


Which is why when I stand in front of the whiteboard, I might just be  there muttering to myself. To me it feels inorganic. I want to garden. The organic, or gardening portion of the event comes from the player’s actions themselves. A novelist controls the actions of their characters, an event holder has to compensate for that lack of control with more planning, in order to achieve the same level of storytelling. 


I think that this is actually a spectrum, and people can probably lean in either direction and be effective. At the same time I think it might be helpful to take a second to recognize the benefits of both, so that if you come across a gardener or architect in the eventholding wilds, you can work with them to your mutual benefit, rather than your ultimate frustration. 


Gardeners, they have a reactionary style towards storytelling. They are really great at taking the pieces they have in front of them, and working them together and making a story mesh. I would say a gardener would be good, with no advance notice, taking a first event newbie’s backstory and sliding it seamlessly into the plot. 


How do you help a gardener with their eventholding? Check in with them frequently. Tell them about the parts of the plot they didn’t have eyes on. Tell them what you think the players need more of, or what  to adjust to make the event more fun. A gardener leans into the real time changes more easily. 


What are the dangers of leaning too far into gardening? If you’re lazy it might be tempting to consider yourself a gardener. To just sort of leave massive holes in your plot and make it up as you go along. That’s not writing. That’s the lack of writing. Even someone that leans completely in the direction of gardening should have some islands of plot where they know where the adventure is going. Some background kernels of information that gives their characters rich intentions and personalities. For me, I often know what the goals of my NPCs are, so I can adjust their course as  player actions change what some of those goals look like. To have no intent, no background, no overarching idea, no goals at all is to be a true improviser, and results may vary but are more likely to have poor results. 


Architects are the other side. They plan everything out. They know what they want the entrance to a room of a dungeon to look like. They have detailed stats for their monsters and puzzles. They have prop lists. You know, all the things that make you feel organized. An architect is really good at making every player’s role have a purpose mechanically within the game. 


How can you help an architect with their eventholding? Read their plan. Ask the questions you need to in advance, to help them clarify their plan. Keep things neat and organized. And resolve the surprises that come up in a way that keeps things flowing within the context of the plan, independently where possible. 


What are the dangers of leaning into architecture too far? Well if you plan everything out, you might feel inclined to rigidly expect things to play out in a certain way. It can be very natural to have an expectation for how an encounter should end, and when someone does something to alter that, that might be pretty frustrating. Architects might come off as too controlling, and almost sort of forget that LARPing in its very nature is a communal storytelling exercise. It’s collaborative. If there is no collaboration, then you’re not really holding a larp any more. 


Recognizing what kind of writer you are is important. You can lean into your strengths, while also incorporating the strengths of other writers around you to shore up your weaknesses. 


So what kind of writer are you? Are you a gardener? An architect? Or somewhere in between?


I look forward to your answers,


and when I can see you on the field,


Keith “Saegan” Cronyn 


Monday, May 3, 2021

Meme Mondays

 by the Meme Team



Friday, April 30, 2021

Home Questing: Task 29!

 by Christopher "Janus" Donnelly



Here is the form for your funniest self portrait:

https://forms.gle/mbGUzvwBchtsLZWX7


If you would prefer to send something to me directly rather than uploading to youtube or some other video hosting site, please email it to techiemikey@gmail.com.


********************

Transcript:

Hi all, Janus here and welcome to home questing.  This week I’m going to ask you to draw a self portrait without looking at the paper.  The funniest self portrait wins.  You have until next friday at noon, and your time starts now.

********************

Thursday, April 29, 2021

The Cry of Midgard Week 6

 Let's see where we left off and what happens next!






And your status screen. Probably going to want to address some of this information, huh?


Create and vote on commands on the Facebook post!


Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Search the Realms 2

Below is a word search. Within there are the names of twenty different Realms Famous Monsters or Big Bad Guys whose existences have spanned the years of our community. Most are extremely well known, but with a couple less known ones in there just to make it a challenge.

If this is not displaying correctly on your device you can click here.

To select a word, click on the first then the last letter and the whole word will highlight. Words can be going in any direction, forwards or backwards, diagonally or orthogonally. A message will pop up when you've gotten all twenty!

Report your success on the Facebook comments if you can get them all!

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Core Elements of Eventholding: Editing

Eventholding is a complex art. It has a lot of moving parts and capturing them all in one article would be pretty daunting. So today I’ll rant about editing. 


I hate it. The end. 


Okay, so that’s not really fair to say. The bit about that being the end. I do factually hate editing. But it’s an important part of writing, and also event holding. 


If you want to create an event that flows well, that tells a story, that leads to epiphanies, and has depth, you’re going to have to look at it more than once. You’re going to need to have someone else look at your work and tell you: “Hey man, you know, this looks like the players are only fighting for 12 hours. That might be epic for some players for sure, but maybe some content for your other guys too?”


And it’s also important for the mechanics we play by. I’m almost positive I’ve NPC’d at events where where the notes for the night quest were “and the  PCs solve the puzzle and  get the ( plot device.)”  As someone who was just tasked with helping to run the night quest, that’s sort of a daunting and ambiguous idea. What puzzle? Did you have a prop for it? Where is this being held? Sometimes while writing content your brain will just sort of fill the gap for you, it will insert a bridge between point A and point C in the plot, without actually working out what point B is. You can read over that point half a dozen times, and not even see it. To that end, having a second set of eyes look over your content, to tell you what’s missing, can be crucial. I think rolling with it, and course correcting your event as it goes is an important skill, and I don’t want to take away from that skill, in the same way you probably don’t always want to have to fix the engine of your car, you probably shouldn’t want to have to fix your plot. Sometimes it should run smoothly without having to roll with it.


So yes, it’s important to edit your written content before running it. But can you edit your content on the fly as well? You can plan ahead, to sort of edit your writing content to tweak the flow of your event day of, and make a more cohesive story for your players. And also to tweak for time constraints. I think it’s a good strategy, and it just takes a smidge more planning and forethought.  


 For the purposes of this strategy, you should consider these three things when planning your encounter 1) The time the encounter is intended to take. 2)What it adds to the plot. 3) What kind of player the content serves. 


  1. The time the encounter is intended to take

The time an encounter takes can be hard to judge. It takes practice, and even with practice  it’s always possible to under- or overestimate your timing. A prime example that I have seen over the years is solving puzzles in the dark. The puzzle seems easy enough in your living room when you test it in advance, and originally you’d planned to get that content out during the daylight, but it just didn’t end up happening. So you throw it into the night quest, and bam. The players take an hour to solve a 10 minute puzzle. It just happens. You learn to think about those angles. You make different mistakes. You learn some more. Time is hard to judge, but it’s important, because every quest must end. Whether it’s because the park is closing, or you only rented the area for a certain amount of time, or its Monday and PCs have to work. Timing is essential to throwing a good quest, so it’s something you always have to be thinking about when planning your content.


  1. What the encounter adds to the plot

Encounters should have a meaning within the context of the relevant plot. I’m not a big fan of loose ends, or story strands that are left without any closure. Events have time constraints, so your story should have parameters on what happens within it. Parameters don’t have to be strong, you could write an encounter with low importance, that just gives tidbits of world building, and is fun. That should still become relevant information at some point. But it doesn’t need to be immediately relevant. 


I like to rank importance in tiers. Tier A: being immediately important and relevant to the plot of the event day. Tier B: being relevant to the plot, and perhaps having more levels of foreshadowing for future events, with maybe a nod to current mechanics to reinforce an idea introduced in a Tier A encounter. And then Tier C content: this content is more relevant for world building, future events and side content. it’s just there to make it so that I can balance out the content for the types of players I have. 


  1. What kind of player the content serves

The way I think about player types constantly evolves as play styles evolve within our game’s culture, but here are some example play styles and content styles to consider: Fighting, Puzzles, Roleplay, Physical Challenges, and Theater.


 Fighting is fighting. I’m a fighter myself, and I like the rush of a challenging but fair fight. I think there are many people who play the game for the challenge of fighting. 


Puzzles are a little bit more broad. It could be a mechanical puzzle, a word puzzle, a riddle, or something else. 


Roleplay encounters should be where the meat of your exposition or direct storytelling happen. The drama. 


Physical challenges are anything physical that isn’t fighting. I consider physical challenges as it’s own thing because over the years, it has become apparent that fighting isn’t the only type of exertion people enjoy in the game. Sometimes a foot race adds to the story. Burpees never add to the story. Okay, maybe sometimes. You can do them though, not me. Obstacle courses are great options for physical challenges too. 

Theater can kind of overlap with roleplay, in some ways, but it’s a little different. While roleplay is a content piece that has interaction between multiple parties to tell a story, like Vlad the Vicious, and Markus the Wise, a theater piece is when the PCs use their creativity to perform something. For example giving them a silver chalice with ancient rites that must be performed under the moon but only giving limited parameters on what those are. In that way, the players are able to be creative in what the ritual looks like.


So you’ve broken your encounters down into these distinctions. How is that helpful? Say your A tier encounter in the first act of your quest has gone on for an entire hour longer than you intended on a 5 hour quest. What do you do? Cut all your C content. Bye. Say your next A tier encounter goes over too, but you only have A and B tier stuff left. Now you combine content. Add the relevant parts from your B tier encounter into your A tier encounters. Make them stronger and more interesting by mixing components from a Theater Encounter with a Combat encounter. Or just make it more challenging by combining two important Combat encounters into one. Its okay to make those edits behind the scenes. And it’s not too hard if you’ve planned it in advance. If you consider what to look for, and you communicate with your crew. 


If you do it right, your players won’t even know it happened at all. 


Those are my thoughts on editing before and during events to make your events better. 


Do you have any examples where editing could have helped make a quest better?


I look forward to your answers and seeing you on the field, also special thanks to Danny and Jen for editing this article for me. 


Keith “Saegan” Cronyn


Monday, April 26, 2021

Meme Monday

 by the Meme Team



Friday, April 23, 2021

Home Questing 27th Task - Results!

 by Christopher "Janus" Donnelly


Hi all, Janus here and welcome to Home Questing, the 27th task.  I asked people to submit their best blanket/pillow fort and I definitely got some.  So, let’s take a look.

First from Cressida, in her own words “because I miss camping out under the stars, I decided to create a fort dedicated to them.”










Next, from Janus is this utilitarian fort:







I was unable to grab a partner to help judge this week, but I think I can just do this well on my own.  So take it away Janus!

In first place is Cressida (5 points).  This was a very well designed blanket fort!  If I came across it on a quest, it could very well imagine having some tea with people studying the stars in it.  And it is roomy enough to sleep in as well!  Full points!

In second pace is Janus (4 points).  Unfortunately, it appears to be less “fort shaped” and more “blankets set up in such a manner that they could reasonably be a roof.”  Also, what are “New England Triots?”  I would put this lower, but I can’t.

Thank you for taking the time out of your day to do this Janus.  Now for my judging:

In first place is Cressida (5 points).  The theming is very excellent with all of the stars involved.  The lighting creates great ambiance and the panda is adorable.

Disqualified is Janus.  He decided to be his own guest, and this is his punishment.

After a point for participation, that leaves us with Cressida with 11 points.

See you next week!



Thursday, April 22, 2021

Morning Coffee Break

 Got your morning cup of coffee and a few minutes? Great! We're trying out a new feature at the View - we're going to be asking a series of questions and we want to know your answers! The question is posted below. So while you sip your morning beverage of choice, ruminate on this one:


Yesterday's Green and Gold post generated a lot of buzz! What's a memory you have from that event series or another Springtime Realms event?


Head on back to Facebook and let us know in the comments!

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Wayback Wednesday - Green and Gold

It's been a long time since the tournament has run but even now the warmer weather spurs on thoughts of shaking off the dust at Green and Gold with a fun day of war maneuvers. We managed to dig up some old pictures of the halcyon days of that event series that we'd like to share.

2007

2007

2008

2008

2008

2009

2009

2010

2010


Tuesday, April 20, 2021

The View’s Gauntlet Throw Down with James Murphy

 I have been writing encounters for, er, a while. Sometimes the ideas come from what I want the party to do in a plot, sometimes the idea is more precise (I want the party to have to fill a “gorge” with dead bodies, and then walk across them). Or sometimes it’s, “we have these styrofoam painted boxes from this other encounter, what else can we do with them?”


So here is the challenge: Give me an idea for a prop that you have never seen at an event before and I will write an encounter for which the prop will be the star. 

A few rules:

1) The prop cannot be something that you have seen at a realms event before as an encounter prop.

For example, we have seen many coffee cups at events but never as a central prop. You could suggest it and it would fit this rule (but kind of boring), it has not been used as a central prop before. But you would not want to use a foam sword, swords have been props from the beginning.  

2) The prop must be bigger than a bread box. (err, ignore that bit about a choosing coffee cup above)

For example, bigger then say 1 foot, by 8 inches by 8 inches. All measurements are approximations. What I do not think would be fun or challenging are things like “a thimble” or “the shoe from the monopoly game” (now a giant shoe….), or 7.2 ounces of cold water.  

3) The prop cannot be bigger than 2 average people.

 No buildings or things like that. Once again, keep it fun.

4) It can be as specific or as general as you want.

Post your ideas in the comments section on Facebook post for this article and in a few days I will make a poll to determine which one I will use.  

Monday, April 19, 2021

Meme Monday

 by the Meme Team




Friday, April 16, 2021

Home Questing: The 28th Task

 

Here is the form for what you are most proud of.

https://forms.gle/XTtxq2aEyWRQu74QA 

If you would prefer to send something to me directly rather than uploading to youtube or some other video hosting site, please email it to techiemikey@gmail.com.

Transcript:

Hi all, Janus here and welcome to home questing.  This week I’m doing a non-judged task.  All you have to do is submit something you are proud of, and well...you’ll get the full points.  You have until Friday at noon, and your time starts now.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

The Cry of Midgard Week 5

Welcome back to Rhiassa Games Presents: Echoes of Ragnarok: The Cry of Midgard

More exploring last week but maybe it will lead to something unforeseen. Let's find out!






Vote for your next commands on Facebook!

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Rumors for April 1021

 [The Fae Wildes]

The Spring Court was very displeased by encroachments made by the Autumn Court at the former’s Market Day. Market-goers report that many jack-o-lanterns were smashed and their sweet candy … er… corpses ... were joyfully looted.


Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Sliding Picture Puzzle 3 - A Royal Wedding

  If your mobile device is having trouble displaying this puzzle click here.

The image below is a mixed-up puzzle of an image from a Realms event. The numbers on each rectangle show the order that the pieces of the puzzle are arranged in when it is complete. Clicking on a rectangle will move it into the blank spot. Continue to click around, rearranging the pieces until you complete the image. 

One you're done, tell us on Facebook how many moves you were able to do it in and what your time was!


Monday, April 12, 2021

Meme Monday

 by the Meme Team



Friday, April 9, 2021

Home Questing: Task 26 Results

by Christopher "Janus" Donnelly


Welcome to the Twenty Sixth Installment of Home Questing.  This week, I asked you to make the most impressive nature-based summoning circle.  Four intrepid adventurers took turns making their summoning circles, so let’s take a look at how they did, shall we?


First, from newcomer Belle Vivid is this circle with many friends involved: 





Next, from Cressida is this entry from HGSC:




DelHemar took a different approach to a nature-based summoning circle





And finally, from Janus is this piece of nature:



So, as a guest judge, I was wondering who would be best to judge this, but I was having a problem figuring it out.  And then, it came to me: a nature spirit would be ideal, and I had accidentally summoned one already...so...take it away...nature spirit.


HI.  I’M FIRE.  AND JANUS’S WASN’T A CIRCLE, SO LAST PLACE!


I’m Earth.  And I.  Put Into.  Third Place (3 points). DelHemar’s Circle.  It Looks. Like It.  Would Lure.  In Something.  Even From.  Else Where.  But It.  Might Catch. A Fae.  More Than.  Summon. One.


i’m water and i feel that the wide variety of animals and offerings by belle are most impressive, and as such she get’s second place(4 points).  also, you can see a relative of mine in the photo.


I’mAirAndOhMySelfCressida’sInFirstPlace(5points)!Thevalues!TheGoal!TheElements!AndButterflies!EverythingIWanted!



Thank you, and I release you from your bonds.  What, you were just hanging out and I didn’t summon you?  Fine then...stay if you wish.  From my side of things, here is how I view it.


As always, Janus seems to got himself disqualified again.  He knows what he has done.


In third place (3 points) is DelHemar.  While the circle would likely work well, it isn’t that impressive beyond being made well on a technical sense.  I did like the bit of temptation in the middle of the circle though


In second place (4 points) is Belle.  The circle itself is large and the many components come together to make a very impressive circle.  I noticed that in addition to the various animals there were also a number of temptations for various natural beings to lure them in.


In first place (5 points) is Cressida.  This submission really lured me in with the amount of work that was put into it, and if you haven’t watched it yet, scroll up and enjoy.  It was impressive in how the circle was laid down, which is often just as important as the circle itself.


Now, after a point for participation, that leaves us with


Cressida: 11 points

Belle Vivid: 9 points

DelHemar: 7 points


And for the running totals, here we are:

DelHemar - 236.5

Cressida - 236

Laika en'Naur - 48

Saka - 32

Aeston, Areni, and Gwen - 26.5

Kovaks - 26

Iawen - 20

Bart - 19

Orion - 13

Keras - 13

Tuilli - 11

Vawn- 10

Syruss - 10

Jerrick Jerrickson - 10

Luc-Dubois Coupant - 9

Belle Vivid - 9

Osa - 8

Axel - 7

Rita - 7

Kwido - 6

J'reth - 5

Nalydros - 5

Rosetta - 5

Sagart Hawkshade - 5

Tarun Ul-Sikar - 5

Thayet - 5

Vanduke - 4

King Alexander Cecil - 2.5

Jace - 2

Kara Nithisdottir - 1.5

Thoril - 1.5


See you next week!


Thursday, April 8, 2021

The Cry of Midgard Week 4

Welcome back to Rhiassa Games Presents: Echoes of Ragnarok: The Cry of Midgard

We had some interesting stuff come our way last week. Let's see if the intrigue continues!








That's where we are! Vote for the next commands on Facebook!

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Acrostic the Realms 2

 The below puzzle is an acrostic. The clues correspond to each numbered row in the puzzle. Some boxes have small numbers in the upper right. Every box that shares the same number also shares the same letter.

If you are on mobile or your browser is having trouble displaying this puzzle click here.

Silver Projectile Chivalry

What martial activity was frequently extolled by Seger the Bard?


Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Morning Coffee Break

Got your morning cup of coffee and a few minutes? Great! We're trying out a new feature at the View - we're going to be asking a series of questions and we want to know your answers! The question is posted below. So while you sip your morning beverage of choice, ruminate on this one:


What is the coolest magic item you've possessed, or that someone you know has possessed?


Head on back to Facebook and let us know in the comments!

Monday, April 5, 2021

Meme Monday

 by the Meme Team




Friday, April 2, 2021

Home Questing: The 27th Task

 by Christopher "Janus" Donnelly



Here is the form for your more impressive nature-based summoning circle:

https://forms.gle/Fj8NW7D3ohbb9DLNA 



If you would prefer to send something to me directly rather than uploading to youtube or some other video hosting site, please email it to techiemikey@gmail.com.



*************************

Transcript:



Hi all, Janus here and welcome to home questing.  This week I’m going to ask you to make the best pillow and blanket fort. You have until next friday at noon, and your time starts now.


*************************


Thursday, April 1, 2021

The Cry of Midgard Week 3

Welcome back to Rhiassa Games Presents: Echoes of Ragnarok: The Cry of Midgard

There certainly wasn't a lot of disagreement last week, the objectives on the screen were fairly obvious. I suspect as we delve further into the adventure then perhaps you will differ more in your opinions of how to proceed. In any case, here's what happens after the latest set of inputs.







And here is your status screen.