Get Posts Delivered To Your Inbox!

Enter your email address:
Delivered by FeedBurner

Keeping Hydrated in the Heat in the SCA

admin on June 16th, 2008

Warm weather is upon us and summer is fast approaching. Depending on where you live, it can get very hot and miserable just being outside, let alone in heavy weapons or fencing gear. Practicing and fighting in the summer can be brutal if you are not careful and you can dehydrate yourself if you do not get enough fluids or electrolytes. So here’s what to do to stay in the fighting.

Dress in cotton layers if possible. Cotton will help get the sweat away from your body faster so you can cool off. You can also wear clothes made to pull the sweat away from your body. The most famous of this type of clothing is UnderArmor but Nike and Adidas also make clothes like this. Wear light colored clothes if possible. It will keep the sun from glaring down on your and making you even hotter as you just stand there.

Drink plenty of fluids in more frequency than normal. Water, gatorade, sqwincher, etc. If you don’t drink something with electrolytes in it like the gatorade or sqwincher, make sure you take electrolyte tablets or something with salt in it to help you out. Also I would recommend drinking a mixture as any one thing can make you sick in heat. Avoid milk, pop, or anything else carbonated. These can dehydrate you quickly and then you will not be able to fight anymore.

Take breaks often! Fighting too much or for extended periods of time can hurt you so that you may not be able to keep fighting. During a practice get there early and gear up quickly. Find someone to fight with and then take a break for ten or fifteen minutes to rest and get your strength back. Then fight again. Try and fight in shade if possible, this will help keep the sun off you as much as you can. No matter what kind of armor you wear, it is all hot once you have in on. The sun will just make it feel worse.

Wear cool clothes to and from practice. This will help cool your off faster when you get out of your fighting gear. Don’t overexert yourself just because you want to seem like you can fight all the time. You can make yourself sick and then you will not be able to fight at all. Above all remember that fighting in the heat is practice for those attending the Pennsic War in August.

Subscribe to this blog's RSS feed

Renaissance Magazine Wedding Edition

admin on June 13th, 2008

Ren Mag
Renaissance Magazine is put out four times a year. It is a very popular magazine for those who love Renaissance times and to attend Renaissance Festivals. Each edition has a theme and all the articles follow that. It teaches things that even lovers of the time period may not know, while entertaining at the same time. The only theme that has been revisited is Renaissance Weddings.

Renaissance Weddings have become very popular in the last ten years or so. Festivals all over the country are offering wedding packages that range from inexpensive to more than a normal wedding can cost depending on the festival and what each place offers. Renaissance Magazine thought it would be helpful for those planning a Renaissance wedding to have a magazine devoted to them. And with four different wedding magazines out over the last seven years, the magazine has made a difference for brides who decided to have a different kind of wedding.

Each magazine has had new ideas for wedding parties and included a list of festivals that offers the weddings. Some festivals have started offering them as they have become more popular so the list keeps changing. Some festivals have also fallen off the list as they disappeared or changed their minds about having weddings at their Renaissance festival sites. And others have changed their packages to be more streamlined or less confusing for brides to be.

One feature that has not changed in all four issues is a section that shows bridal dresses. Some of these have been as simple as patterns sewn so a bride could see what they looked like and others were clothing shops that had made special dresses. Some dresses were also more period than others for brides who wanted to more historically accurate with Renaissance times. In the Renaissance Magazine there are also areas for grooms and wedding attendants. Not the full color pictures of the bridal dresses, but places where everyone in the wedding can be dressed if the bride does not know where to start.

The best part of the wedding issues is that all the ads are geared toward brides and their special day. From where to buy wedding rings to gifts for the wedding party, anyone that advertises in the magazine and can find a way to make it fit for weddings, are available to purchase from. This is in fact how I found my wedding rings. Only seeing them online was hard but the end result was beautiful and I would recommend the place I got my rings from to anyone getting married at a Renaissance Festival.

After missing this movie in the theaters last year, and not getting it on DVD right away, I have finally seen this movie.  I know it is based off a video game but have to admit I have never played the game.  Unfortunately video games don’t make good movies and this one is no exception.

I have to admit the cast is phenomenal.  I knew some of the names that were in this film but was pleasantly surprised by several others.  The most famous in the film are Jason Statham as the main character Farmer, Ray Liotta as the bad magician, John Rhys-Davies as the good magician, and Burt Reynolds as the king.  This is rounded out by Leelee Sobieski as Rhys-Davies daughter and Claire Forlani as the Farmer’s wife, and Matthew Lillard as the King’s nephew.  I did not catch any characters name, other than Farmer, however.  I do think that Lillard played his part a bit over the top.  But at the same time it could have been the way his eccentric character was.  Even Kristanna Loken from BloodRayne has a bit part in Dungeon Siege.

I think the clothes are very fitting for a medieval setting, except for Ray Liotta’s.  He wears a leather long coat that is just very out of place for the time period this seems to be set in.  The rest look like they belong in a middle ages movie and even fit the characters themselves. 

The storyline is pretty basic for any RPG game.  The bad guys attack and a hero emerges to fight back, unwillingly.  The country is threatened in the process and if someone does not stop the bad guy, the known world will be in trouble.  Of course there is a twist that makes you stop, although if you had played the game you might have known what the twist was.  I am not sure how closely the movie followed the game.  The action sequences are good and intense and spaced out just enough so that you don’t feel all that happens is fighting.  But the storyline is not that interesting and after watching it I understand why so many people had a hard time making it through the film.  As a game it was probably incredible.  As a movie, not so much.

If you do not remember the trailer, here is it:

The Ohio Renaissance Festival will be in its 19th year when it opens this September.  It has expanded from 5 weeks when it first began to 9 a few years ago and now back to the 8 that was the norm once they found the permanent location in Harveysburg, Ohio where they still reside.  Each year people come to be part of the cast and must try out to be picked.  This includes the role of Queen Elizabeth.  And this year the ORF will have a new queen.

This will be the fifth Queen Elizabeth that the Ohio Renaissance Festival has had.  I have only seen three of them and this new one will be the fourth.  My husband and I did not discover this fun time to past life until the 7th season, when it had been settled for years at its 30 acre site.  I have heard the original was a very good queen but she had to move on.  I also know that the second one, the Queen Elizabeth that we saw, left for a good reason.  She got pregnant!  And if you know anything about Elizabeth’s reign, you can’t have a pregnant Queen Elizabeth since she never married. 

The third queen left for reasons I do not know.  I was sad to see her go like the second because I thought both portrayed the monarch very well.  I believe we had the third queen for about 5 years but honestly I’ve gone so many years that some things blend and I can’t tell which year they happened.  You know you’ve been going to a festival long enough when you can give directions to almost anything there (we don’t frequent all the shops so some I just have a vague idea about). 

Last year the Ohio Renaissance Festival has a new queen.  I have to say I did not approve.  She was petite and very soft spoken.  Not like any of the past ladies who were this great monarch who took England from poverty to being one of the riches nations in 40 years.  Her reign wasn’t called the “Golden Age” for nothing.  This lady just didn’t do it for me and several people I know that are regulars said the same thing.

This year they have announced a new queen but are not saying who it is.  I like the idea that a different person will be portraying Queen Elizabeth but hope they have cast someone much better than last year.  Of course with the secrecy it is possible we might see one of the former ladies back to rule again.

Robin Hood: For England! Episode

admin on June 10th, 2008

The black knights have come to Nottingham.  Alan enters the Sherwood Forest to take his money but Robin and the gang has already found it.  He tries to apologize but as he does the black knights ride through and everyone hides.  Robin runs off to stop them and the gang is upset he has no plan of action in this.  As Robin leaves he tells them Alan is dead to them.  The Sheriff kills his scribe that has written a pact to get rid of the King of England.

Gisborne goes to see Marion and wants her to join him for the black knights signing a form.  He only tells her it’s an important document but she knows something is up.  When Robin arrives he tells her of the black knights.  As Gisborne returns to change, Alan meets him, demanding that Gisborne take him on as a helper since he no longer can earn money by spying on Robin Hood.  Marion and Robin go to the scribe’s room and find the document with several allies on it.  One of which is the Duke of Winchester, a friend of Marion’s father.  Robin decides to try and persuade the Duke to change his mind.

When Robin speaks to the Duke, he tells him of how the King already knows of the plan and will reward those who have opposed it.  Of course that message never made it as we saw a few weeks ago.  Will transforms some weapons to look like musical instruments.  This is how the group will sneak into the castle to rescue Maid Marion and her father and help the Duke when he refuses to sign the pact.

As Robin and the gang are having their “instruments” checked to get in, Alan rides up and tells the guards he is Sir Gisborne’s man so they will let him through.  Robin escapes to meet the Duke of Winchester and tell him the plan.  The Duke goes to see Marion’s father and tells him that he is going to sign the pact so he will get richer and not end up in the dungeon.  His main reason is because Winchester says that Marion’s father stole the woman he loved.  And then he wants Marion herself since she looks just like her mother.

The Duke of Winchester meets with the Sheriff before the pact signing and tells him to get his loyalty he wants Sussex and Marion.  When the Sheriff agrees, Gisborne is furious about losing Marion.  The Sheriff wants to hang someone because he has lost Sussex and Alan comes in right then, to become the one that gets hung unknowingly.  When Robin goes to see Marion’s father in the dungeon, he tells Robin that the Duke of Winchester is going to betray him and sign the pact.

Gisborne tries to help Marion escape, but as he leaves her chamber the Sheriff is waiting outside and tells Gisborne he is only safe as long as he is loyal to the Sheriff.  So Gisborne intercepts Marion as she is trying to leave as he wanted, and takes her to the Duke of Winchester.  When Robin and the gang get to her room and find it empty, he writes her a note to apologize that they will never have the life they should.  He makes the gang promise they will not follow as he goes to stop the pact from being signed.

Robin attacks a black knight to get in and the gang waits impatiently for the return of Marion.  Munch decides to read the note Robin left for Marion and they all learn what he is up to.  Robin waits until the Lord Winchester has signed the treaty to attack them all and when it seems they are all dead, they get up and the Sheriff calls in guards to hang Robin instead of Alan.  As the gang is trying to get to Robin, a guard tells them the Sheriff wants muscians outside since Robin Hood has been caught.

Before hanging someone, the Sheriff wants Alan and Robin to fight over a pot of hot tar.  The loser dies, the winner gets hung.  When Robin sees chains on Marion, he almost loses.  The gang steps in and Robin uses an arrow to put a hole in the pot so a fire will block the guards from pursuing Robin and his men.  Alan gets punched by Little John during the fighting.  As the Duke leaves with Marion, Robin tries to save her.  Instead the Sheriff and Gisborne are the lead riders and kill the Duke so Gisborne can save her.

I thought since I didn’t get the new Dungeons and Dragons 4th edition books yet that there should be some reviews up here anyhow.  I have to admit the reactions surprised me a lot.  It actually makes me leary to buy the books and attempt to play with the new rules.  So here is what I have found.

there are things i like and things i dislike about 4e. i think that if they were going for a simplification they missed the mark, and they could have put the books together better. although that may be my own fault. as a veteran gamer i have a tendency to skip whole chapters (i don’t think i need to read about what a roleplaying game is AGAIN) so when i missed something and had to go hunting for it that was probably why. i really dislike what they’ve done with armor. i can’t say i’m a fan of what they’ve done with equipment in general. when all the old school gamer fanboys cried foul and said wizards was turning their beloved game into world of warcraft i brushed it off as the same sort of hysteria that happened when 3.0 came out. but in looking at the new books, i have to say, it’s almost worse than WOW, they’ve turned the game into legend of zelda. on the other hand, i like a lot of what they did.

i don’t have a problem with the class and race redesign and i think the breakdown of powers into at will/encounter/daily is cool. i think the solution to what to do about halfling weapons makes more sense than either of the two things i’ve seen so far (a large longsword is a medium greatsword, a small shortsword is a medium dagger, a medium shortsword is a… fine greatsword? remember how much fun that was?). i kind of like the changes to magic. i think the split between character powers and ritual magic is interesting. i miss multiclassing but i like the new sort of roll-your-own way of multiclassing. i particularly like the fact that with proper skill (and feat) selection anyone can cast ritual magic.

I still really like 3.5 and this is very different. I expect my game group will use both sets of rules for quite a while.

Initial Impressions

The gift set: I opted for the slipcased giftset. I love slipcases, it’ll be handy for transport and it didn’t cost any extra. I’m glad this was an option at launch.

Quality: Physically, these are great books. Nicely bound, good pages and I love the matte/shiny effect on the covers.

Layout: The layout makes me think of a programming guide — I felt like I was reading a book about learning HTML or PHP. That’s not a bad thing! It’s a bit dry, but it’s easy to find stuff, boxed text is handled nicely and — best of all — the type is larger and white space is used better than in the 3.5e books. These are easy books to read, and they look like they’ll be equally easy to reference.

Artwork: WotC has a history of using great artists, and the core books continue that trend. At first, I thought the books felt light on art, but flipping back through my 3.5e core books, it’s about the same — but 4e uses its artwork better, focusing on full-color splash pages and dramatic pieces. The neatest thing for me is that all the art depicts stuff that looks like fun and feels like what you do in a D&D game; it’s well-matched and evocative. And that splash page in the PHB? Man, does that make me want to play D&D.

This is actually only a small bit of his thoughts.  He goes into detail about each of the three new books.  You can read more about it here:

4e Verdict

I like it a lot! It’s an entirely new action role playing game based on common elements of prior editions. I love how fluid and fast the action can get, how easy it is to adjudicate actions not directly covered by the rules. All calls felt natural and players agreed to my proposed calls without debate.

I adopted 4e once and for all sometime during the afternoon of my 2nd game… Here I was with complete strangers (most of which had no intention to switch to 4e), killing their PCs and still seeing excitement, trepidation and fun on all their faces.

Well except one, but he kept complaining of being screwed by the dice and more or less doubting that I could play so many 20s without cheating.


With the launch of Wizards of the Coast 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons series tomorrow, a huge game day will commence. This game day has been months in planning and if you are looking to join one now, you will probably be to late as they will all be filled since space at them is limited. However if you purchase the books yourself and have a group to play with, you can have your own game day. Of course you may get lucky and be able to find one that still has an opening or two from the list below.

Eastern US

Western US and Guam


Asia and Pacific

Europe and Israel

Mexico, Central and South America, and Caribbean

They are even going to have special places for thos in the military to play.

To find out more go to Wizards of the Coast official site

I don’t usually post about one of my obsessions, the TV show Lost. But after watching the rest of the season finale, there is no way I can not post something this week. The show came out four years ago and blew fans out of the water. It was like nothing anyone had seen. The flashbacks made the show so different that you were either a fan or you weren’t.

As the seasons have progressed we have learned about so many things that we can not believe. It is not your typical fantasy show, it is actually said to be a drama. However with the strange elements that have come out since the show began are very fantasy oriented. This season has been no exception but not nearly as much as in the finale.

If you have been watching, you know that six people got off the island. It took most of the season to find out which six, and one was not what fans thought it would be. How a baby counts as a survivor, at first no one could understand. But even with the six from the Oceanic flight that went down, there was the surprise of Ben being off the island. Of course now at the end we know why he got off but not really how.

It is one of the vices of this show. The more questions that are answered, the more that fans get. Even the season finales don’t help much. This year is definitely no exception. The major difference is that it was not a single person’s flash off the island. We got to see every character that has made it off at some point. We even got to find out who was in the coffin for the end of Season 3.

But after four years, fans are invested in the characters. We have lost at least one person every season finale. Again we did, or did we? It’s a question we will probably not know the answer to until next season. And even then we may not. Some questions are not answered until much later. We are still waiting to find out what the smoke monster is, but now we know that Ben can control it.

People seem to get hurt and then are ok, others are missing and when asked about it’s too difficult to answer them. I have to admit I cried several times over the fate of people. Some were unfounded but when you don’t know what is going to happen next, it’s hard to keep your emotions in check. I think part of it is knowing that only six do get off and wondering what happens to the rest.

Even the end when we know about most of them, and the island is “safe”, it makes viewers crazy. We know who is in the coffin from last year and now we have a thousand questions about this person. We know that the six who got off have to go back but not why. We understand how Ben is off but not how. We yell and scream at the TV about the ending again, not wanting to wait until next season but having no choice.

If you have not seen the season finale, do not watch the video.

Robin Hood: Ducking and Diving Episode

admin on June 4th, 2008

We start this week with Alan in an inn waiting for Gisborne to tip him off about a visitor they have coming.  Alan wants to make sure that Robin does not rob Henry on his way through Sherwood Forest.  Henry is the messenger who will tell the Sheriff when the King will land in England so the Sheriff can dispatch him instead.  When Robin realizes that someone has tipped off Gisborne and the Sheriff about what they were going to do, Robin fears for Marion and tells her he has a spy in his group.  Luckily the messenger, Henry, arrives too ill to talk.

As Marion and Robin talk, she tells him none of his men have been seen in the castle so Robin realizes that someone is leaving the castle to meet his spy.  Munch follows Robin and when Munch realizes what Robin has found out, he tries to find a way to prove his royalty no matter what.  In the meantime the Sheriff does not like the doctor who is trying to make Henry well and kidnaps a woman with medicinal skills to heal Henry instead.  Marion finds a way to follow Gisborne to attempt to find out who is betraying Robin and the gang.  She follows him to the inn but Alan is not there so she can not find out who it is.

Robin sneaks into the castle to kill Henry.  However instead Robin and Matilda come to an agreement that she will make it so Henry can not talk.  Thus she will be able to leave and not talk at the same time.  Robin must escape and meets up with Marion who tells him about what transpired in the inn.  As they see Gisborne head back to the castle, Marion gets caught by him trying to sneak back before him.  Unfortunately the Sheriff brings the original doctor back and he tells the Sheriff that Matilda has given him something to make him how he is.  In the meantime Robin brings Matilda’s pregnant daughter to the camp because she is due to have her baby and having complications.  Djaq knows nothing of treating women but convinces Little John to do it, which he succeeds in doing.

Djaq and Alan talk when he tries to bring her food.  Djaq tells him that Robin will forgive the spy if he confesses and begs forgiveness.  She hints that she knows Alan is the spy.  When Marion escapes to tell Robin that Matilda is going to be drowned as a witch, Robin must leave Little John with Matilda’s daughter to save Matilda.  Robin shows up to save Matilda by using a hose with Will blowing air down so she can breath.  The last time the Sheriff brings up the drowning machine, Robin has freed her.  And Henry is captured by Robin’s men. 

When Matilda is reunited with her daughter, she finds out she has a granddaughter.  Munch makes the mistake of leaving his knife right by the passed out Henry, who takes it and threatens to kill Munch.  Robin kills Henry so the king will be safe, for now.  Then Robin asks Will to do something and hits him to make it look like Will was the traitor.  He lies about what he is going to do and sets off.  Djaq tries to tell Robin who the real traitor is but he won’t listen to her.  Alan runs to the inn to change his ways and Robin catches him there trying to give the money back.  Robin makes him tell him what he has and hasn’t told Gisborne.  Alan tries to convince him he is changed but Robin is through with Alan.  He cuts him and tells Alan he never wants to see him again.

Some FAQ on D&D 4th Edition Game

admin on June 3rd, 2008

With the 4th edition of Dungeons and Dragons coming out this week, some people have been wondering why a new edition is out so soon after the last one. Wizards of the Coast has an FAQ to help people understand.

Why 4th Edition?
Refreshing a living game such as D&D is very important. Our understanding of what works best for today’s players is always evolving, and ignoring that would result in a stagnant game that few people play. We’ve been dreaming of and experimenting with ways to improve the game—from better rules to more exciting characters to great online tools—for years, and now we’re finally ready to show folks the best Dungeons & Dragons game we’ve ever made.

When does 4th Edition release?
The three core rulebooks—the Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide and Monster Manual—release June 2008.

What are some of the notable changes to 4th Edition compared to 3.5?
The Design & Development column on D&D Insider is the best location to see the changes and developments that have gone into 4th Edition. This column offers a unique behind-the-scenes look at the making of the game, with members of the R&D Team sharing their insights and philosophies.

You can also pick up a copy of the two 4th Edition preview books, Wizards Presents: Races and Classes, and Wizards Presents: Worlds and Monsters.

Are there any conversion plans in place for transitioning 3.5 to 4th Edition?
We learned with 3rd Edition that accurate conversion really doesn’t work. Thus, we’re encouraging everyone to start at 1st level in 4th Edition and learn the new system from the ground up. While you’ll certainly be able to reinvent many existing characters with the new system, there’s no conversion guide that could adequately cover the vast array of options that have been published over the lifespan of the game.

With the introduction of 4th Edition, will existing 3.5 product be obsolete?
We are moving to a new edition, and the rulebooks that we’ll release from June 2008 forward will use the 4th Edition system. However, Dungeons & Dragons has always been a game involving campaign and world-building and your books from past editions still contain thousands of pages of information that you may consult when creating your world and/or updating your campaign. While there are no official plans to convert 3rd Edition material into 4th Edition, it is always possible to convert your favorite materials on your own.

That said, we’re also making sure that many products released before 4th Edition are “edition-proof,” meaning they can be used in any edition of the game (such as the Grand History of the Realms). In addition, other 3.5 products (such as Exemplars of Evil and Elder Evils) will receive 4th Edition updates, via D&D Insider.

What campaign setting support will there be?
A new version of the Forgotten Realms campaign setting will be released in August 2008. Eberron will be released some time in 2009. Beyond those, other campaign settings will receive some level of support in the future, but we’re still working on our plans.