Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Medieval Chaos - Impressions

Howdy everyone!

It's been a while since I posted any sort of entry here. Nearly all of my free time during the past few weeks has been occupied with roleplaying; and not of the tabletop variety as usual, but of the live action kind.

You see, I finally got to get out to Medieval Chaos with a few good friends and experience the whole thing. And it was just that, an experience. Months of attending weapon practice at Vanguard Training, viewing photos, and pouring over the Player's Handbook doesn't adequately prepare a new player for the sheer awesomeness that is MC.

For the past three weeks I've been able to attend MC each weekend (first three events are no-charge for newbs, then it's $10 each; $5 for members), and after three sessions, I feel I've acquired a good grasp of it. I'll try to briefly summarise each weekend:

September 19th-20th - First Weekend

Prior to the event on Saturday, the location was open to players to spend the night on the huge acreage of what is known as Dagger Deep. My buddy Ash, with permission from the property owners, would run a Book n' Dice Night at least once a month, where players would eat, drink, and occasionally play tabletop games, and some of them would then camp out under the stars.

I was totally for this for a couple reasons: First, I hadn't been camping in over half and decade and was seriously hankering to do so; second, it seemed like an excellent way to be introduced to the layout of the Deep before my character was brought in.

So I booked the date off work, bought a few camping supplies, and set to work developing my character and his gear (referred to as their 'kit'). On the day of, I caught a ride with a few friends up to North Cowichan, and they gave me a tour of the grounds before I pitched my tent.

Nobody ended up playing any games that night and mostly splintered off into groups to discuss various In-Character (IC) and Out-Of-Character (OOC) things, so I mingled with a few before I retired to my tent for the evening.

The next day, after I stowed my tent and gear, I changed into my character: Ref 'Kampi' Vandillsson, whom I'll detail in a later posts. I registered as a new player, signed the appropriate wavers, and then entered fully into the world of MC.

Kampi with two of his redeemers:
Sprig in the front, Kail behind.
Photo Credit Damian Lucas-Ray Joulie
IC, Kampi's introduction went brilliantly. The gist was he was found dead in the bush by a trio of adventurers, who then revived him, freed him of bonds, and brought him to the town proper. Kampi feels thrice oathbound to each of his redeemers, which I figured would be a good tie-in to MC.

OOC, I sort of ended up an unbridled peasant for most of the remainder of the day when the players I had been attached to had their own business to take care of as NPCs in the upcoming mission or whatnot; not seeing familiar faces had me wander a bit on my own with few to answer any IC/OOC queries I had. It made sense though IC that Kampi would be a bit overwhelmed with everything that had transpired, this wasn't a huge problem. Still it would've been nice to have a 'guide' of sorts.

The mission (the primary overarching story of the day, which usually involved the most combat) was mostly plot/roleplay-based, which Kampi had little part of beyond observing and later being slaughtered several times by raging zombies.

Kampi taking a moment to comb his facial 
hair and ponder recent events.

Photo Credit Damian Lucas-Ray Joulie 
At the beginning of post-mission, as it is called, saw me back at my ride waiting for my friends, when my friend David stopped by and asked me how my first day was. I told him my concerns and he understood them well. He informed me that Ash and his wife usually attended post-mission IC for a few hours, and he asked Sarah who just arrived (whose character Sprig was one of Kampi's trio and is the apprentice to David's character Relan) to escort me as Kampi about the Deep for any post-mission hijinks. Sarah apologised that she didn't realize initially it was my first day at MC as she recognised me from Vanguard so she thought I was accustomed to the ways. No harm, no foul. :)

This helped me grasp a bit better some of the nuances of MC, and I had some decent roleplay.

All in all, I'd say my first day at MC was both over-and-underwhelming for reasons. Still the experience as a whole was positive because I wanted to return the following weekend; and so I did.

September 27th - Second Weekend

The following Saturday brought me back to Deep. This time it was my friend Max from Vanguard's first time at MC, and being somewhat familiar with the ins-and-outs I kept him with me most of the game as we roamed the Deep for a glove I had lost OOC-and concurrently-IC, and had a good time interacting with each other and other characters.

Hog-Eye Johnny!
Sometime before conch (the signal used to summon all players to muster OOC at a site known as woodhenge for mission briefing) we met with the other players who were playing the opposing NPCs for the day and changed into our appropriate kits: Zombie Pirates! I also shared the 5L jug of non-alcholic grog I had made the evening before with our team to good reception.

Playing an NPC is a good role for a new player; it introduces the basics of combat, and one doesn't have to worry about being killed because you usually have various ways of returning from death. The downside to being a zombie is that you're somewhat limited roleplay and interaction-wise. Still much fun was had.

After mission Max and I then spent most of our time in the tavern conversing with other characters, acting drunk, and sharing the jug of cider Kampi had picked up escorting a caravan to Uberland (a.k.a Duncan). OOC I'd received so much positive feedback on my grog/cider recipe, which tasted like apple pie to many, and that I was told I should bring it in the future and sell it for daen (the in-game currency). This is something myself/Kampi is deeply considering doing in the future, as long as the profit meets/exceeds the costs of making and toting the jug around...

Verdict: A much better day at MC than my first. :)

October 3rd-4th - Third Weekend

This was an excellent weekend for me. Again I was able to attend Book n' Dice Night (which again, sadly, had no games which was a bit of a bummer for me; gaming in any form helps me break out of my introvert-shell, but no biggie. Camping was even more fun since there was no fire-ban this time, I got make a few changes to my gear, and try out a new sleeping cot I had picked up: it was worth the added weight comfort-wise though I'm still looking to lighten my kit as a whole since I don't have my own vehicle and need to port my gear to and from my rides.

The following day I helped haul and stack firewood for daen and good exercise, and then I had the opportunity to spend the whole day as Kampi having excellent interactions and RP with many characters pre-mission.

During mission I avoided most of the combat for IC reasons. I then attached myself to my buddy Ash's relatively new character (The Pict) when Kampi had the chance, and spent the remainder of most of the mission tagging along with him before the final confrontation between the PC forces of Dagger Deep and the invading NPC forces Northbrook. Kampi aided a bit during the final battle, but was slain when he was magically Held by a sneaky goblin and killed by a death knight. In the end, the forces of Northbrook where routed, and the denizens of the Deep victorious!

No photos of Kampi this day, he was too busy hiding in the bush, and with good reason too:
Look at the enemy force! Photo Credit John Marusiak
Post-mission had Kampi share a drink with his new comrade, and then the two roamed the lengths and breadths of the realm looking for trouble and in search of the members of the magic college of Illodia for several reasons.

After much walking and fruitless searching but excellent RP between Kampi and the Pict, Ash and I returned to late to Victoria utterly exhausted from the day. Best day at MC yet, and it looks promising for even better! :D

There's only a bunch of weekends remaining before MC shuts down for the season, only to reopen April next year; aside from the weekend coming up, I hope to attend as many as possible!

To The Pain!

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