Posts Tagged ‘gaming’


Nero LARP Event – Day 3

   Posted by: Jon    in Gaming, LARP

I awoke to the sounds of the busy tavern nearby, full of people eating breakfast. I got into garb and joined them. My phone had died from blogging the night before, so I had no ideal what time it actually was, but it felt around 7:30am. After doing a quick charge on my phone, I walked over to the tavern to find Cheese Burgers were on the menu for breakfast. It was good too, was getting a bit tired of hot dogs at that point. Before I was even done eating more than half the tavern left to continue fighting in the sewers where we had left off the day before. I took my time and finished up my burger and then caught up with the rest of the party who were now in combat with the dreaded Brood. Nasty insect like creatures who spit acid and attacked for acid damage. It was said that if they made a good hit on someone they could inject you with a vile substance causing a swam hive to feed upon you from the inside out. Eventually, the baby broods inside would pop out of the host killing them, spawning new brood in the process. It was during this time I took a quick out-of-game break to snap off a few photos for the event and one short video, capturing a round of combat.

 After what seemed like forever, eventually we got to the Brood Queen and slew her and her black guard. Doing so ended that quest, never quite sure what happened to “Meb” but he was there with us I believe in our final battle with the Brood. Still looking for a fight myself and the Templar I had met the day earlier decided to set off together in search of encounters and treasure. We came across a few encounters, hill trolls that still wanted us off their land, a band of goblins, which we slew, and finally an interesting mix of green creatures (goblins, an orc, and maybe a troll?) who were playing some form of football with the body of a dead animal. The Templar and I stood there bewilder at what we were seeing. It appeared they had not even noticed us and continued to play their game. Eventually, they got bored and looked up to see us standing there in the forest clearing, not sure what to do next. The group of monsters came over to us to parley and introduced themselves as the “Animal Cruelty Society”. They asked if we knew where any big animals where. We stood there wandering if we should fight or answer them. Eventually, I attempted to throw them off by pointing to a nearby hill and telling them I just saw a huge bear go over it, however, they either did not fall for it or were just confused because they couldn’t see the bear with their own eyes. The crazy Templar then suggested he knew of a nobleman in town who owned a poodle dog. This excited the greens and they just walked right pass us to go and attack the town in search of the dog. We quietly left the chaos of the town behind us and went in search of more treasure. We eventually happened upon a spell component and a slightly valuable ring treasure, later identified as being worth 1 gold coin.

After town combat was over we ventured back into town to collect our share of the sewer adventure coin and to sell the component we had found to a shop keeper. I also bought an extra shield, just in case my own ever breaks from a rat headed shop keeper who spoke only with nods and his hands. Next, while at the Plot camp, I was asked to NPC for an encounter. This was actually the first time I had even NPC’ed a monster so I agreed. I laid down my own shield and weapons and found a big great sword in the cache of weapons. I put on a white tabard and got instructions that I was an undead warrior left off from the previous night that the townsfolk and adventurers had not found. I made my way over to the starting point with the sword head over my head to mean I was not actually walking around in-game. Once there we called ourselves into action and began attacking the two players the encounter was setup for. I walked slowly towards them not making a sound and hold the sword out in front of me. All the NPCs were hit with packets of some sort which allowed the players to do more damage to us. I was the last undead to fall, was checked for loot and had none to give. Slain, I once again held the sword over head and made my way back to Plot game to retrieve my own weapon and shield.

With the noon deadline for tent breakdown soon approaching, I decided to end my gaming there and to pick it back up at another later event. I got changed into my mundane clothes, packed up everything and broke my tent down. With everything packed inside my truck and ready to go, I went to the Plot camp to do what is called “Checking Out” of the game. I discovered I had leveled my character up to 4th level and said my goodbyes to most the people I had met. As I left the event, fighting and adventure were still going on around me. The tavern was still there, a few tents where still up, and players were defeating monsters and collecting gold. Had it not be so hot and I was not expected home, I would have liked to stay longer and continue my gaming in NERO, but for this event the time had finally come to leave that for the next adventure.

All in all, I had a really great time and only wished I known the rules better. After going to the event and then checking in the rulebook the next day when I got home, things made a lot more sense to me. As a recommendation to a first time, I’d say just go to an event and ask others to help you, indicating you know nothing but are interested in the game. You can even play for free as an NPC at this chapter in Phoenix and that will give you all the items you need for the game as well as experience of what to expect. If you prefer to start like I did as a player character, then you’ll at least want to read the rules on creating a character and have your character sheet in hand at the event and ready. Registering your character before hand at the ( NERO database is also a good idea to help streamline things. The only thing that could of made this better was for there to be more people, so if you’re in the Phoenix or Vegas area and reading this, and you’re not already a member, you should come out to an event and join us. The more people the better the events get!

Below are a few helpful links to get you started on your path to gaming in NERO:

Official NERO website –

NERO LARP Rule Book 9th Edition (free downloadable) –

NERO Phoenix Chapter on Facebook –

NERO Phoenix Chapter website –

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Nero LARP Event – Day 2

   Posted by: Jon    in Gaming, LARP

I awoke about 5:30am the next day to find no one else had yet joined us. No matter, it made the earlier night’s experience more like camping and easier to get into things as I had not been camping like that in over 10 years. Needing more ice and before anyone else had woken up around 6:30am I went to get ice a few miles away at Fry’s grocery store. In my mundane clothing I grab a protein drink, a few fresh pastries, and a bag of ice for the cooler. Once back to camp, I filled my two coolers with ice and enjoyed breakfast at a nearby picnic table next to my tent. Others began to stir and the camp once again came to life.

Eventually, a large white van showed up and Michael Hatch (the chap who runs the NERO Phoenix chapter) showed up with his family and crew to get things started. After they unpacked and greeted everyone it was time for sign-in. Character sheet, which I had brought from a previous game 6 years earlier, were reviewed and needed updates were made. Plot camp, the place where the people running the game sit away from others and NPC hang out was established and setup. This was also when I was given any starter coin and tags for the physical items I had brought to the game. No in-game item exists without a written tag.

I wasn’t aware the game had yet started, but others soon got into character and garb and I meet a crazy mad man who was a Templar. I being a fighter who likes to play music broke out my drum and Irish flute in the tavern and began to practice and play. Eventually, the Templar came over next to me in the tavern and took over drumming as I played my flute. It lighten the mood a bit and made it feel a bit more medieval. After some time of playing 2 more vehicles showed up and it was announced that the Vegas NERO Chapter had arrived. Soon the numbers of the event more than doubled and it started to feel like more like an event. More tents were erected around the tavern and the Templar and I continued to hone out skills at forming a small two man band. As we played NPC (monsters) started coming out and into the town (basically where the tavern was established). I took a break from playing to help slay a few monsters, then when all was finished, I went back to playing. After awhile more monsters attacked the town as we sat playing music in the tavern, a Knight yelled out to us to play music for the battle as so we pick up the pace a bit and played a battle tune. Quickly, the monsters where defeated, the knight walked over to tip the Templar and I a gold coin that had been placed in front of us for such purposes. Our first in-game coin from playing had been made! Huzzah!

We played a few more tunes and then I noticed other out on the outskirts of the town searching for items. When they returned to town I inquired what it was they were doing, “Seeking Treasure and Adventure”, I was told. To help show me how it was down I went out with a cat faced Healer, in-game these cat like humanoids are called Sarrs. She was nice and showed me what to look for. Small plastic single colored plastic eggs had been hidden throughout the gaming area. Inside were small slivers of paper that indicated what you had found. Sometimes it would be an encounter, later to be acted out my real NPCs and the people who found it. Other times it could be a component used for making potions and spells or best of all treasure. On this outing we found a few items I of course found an encounter in my first egg. The healer instructed that we should go to the Plot tent and turn in what we had found. She had found treasure and components, while I the encounter. We were asked to return to the location we had found the encounter and wait. Eventually, two NPCs showed up with weapons over their heads, to indicate they were not yet in place (out of game). As they passed us they described what we saw. Two large green skinned Hill Trolls. When they came into game, they began stomping on the hill and yell for us to leave and to get off their hill. Not really looking for a fight and as they seemed to be able to out match us, we said OK and left. That was it for the encounter. I learned not every encounter was a combat situation where you had to fight. Alone, I continued to look elsewhere for treasure, but found none. On my way back, up from the ground came a giant scorpion and it attacked me with both claws and a stinger. I was able to outrun it and went to my campsite to put down some items I had found. The scorpion charged into town after me. I began attacking with my longsword and shield for defense. Eventually, others in the tavern heard the sound of combat and came to join in the fight. With help we quickly destroyed the giant scorpion and all was safe again, at least for awhile.

After adventuring and fighting, I went to the tavern to get a bowl of Shrimp Soup. As I sat enjoying my soup in the tavern, another healer or magic guy came into the tavern to heal the Templar I had played with other of his craziness and to remove some strange markings upon his face. The wisecracking healer began a long drawn out ceremony to first find the cause of the Templar’s madness. Once that was done, the Templar asked me to hold all his possession, and I being of honorable intentions, did so without trying to steal all his stuff. A spell was then casts that removed all magic from his being both internally and externally. The markings upon his face remained and it was eventually determined that he just had paint upon his paint and was just an idiot after all.

Goblins came to town looking for trouble. A local merchant named “Meb” instead got them to barter all their goods for cheap. The merchant gave them 6 gold for all their cure mortal wounds plus other stuff. After the goblins had left town the merchant informed some newly arrived adventurers walking into town that if they wanted to make a quick 6 gold coins, there were some goblins that had just left town and pointed in the direction they left. I sat there in the tavern watching events unfold before me. Eventually, the trickster merchant “Meb” hired the entire tavern to go and slay some hell hound like dogs and to collect their hearts. Everyone agreed and a large band of roaming adventurers left town, I along with them. The trail lead to an underground sewer complex. We quickly found the hounds were had come for, slayed them and got the components we had come for. However, instead of turning back, the merchant convinced everyone to continue on. He stayed with us for a bit, but soon disappear in between encounters. The party chose to continue to look for him. Deeper into the sewers we went. The party of about 10 adventurers next encountered a hive of Fire Ants. It took awhile and we fought a large onslaught of ants, but finally managed to find the queen any and destroy her. Still looking for “Meb”, we came across next a giant silver and stone golem and some huge unknown undead being that no one had seen before. Cautiously, we fought a hard battle with a few of our party going down, but not for long as he had a few healers on hand. After a long fought battle and quite a lot of magic use, we defeated all 3 monsters. Having survived that battle we chose to continue onward deeper in the sewers, but prepared for bigger and harder monsters ahead. Eventually, the sewers ended in a Goblin Den of unending goblin spawns. The party killed at least 50 if not more goblins before the stopped coming. With most of our resources expended and no sign of “Meb”, we returned back to the surface to the tavern in town. Above ground nightfall had descended upon the land and a campfire could be seen from town, beckoning those with coin to the fire. This night hot dogs were on the menu in the tavern and all enjoyed a quick meal. One problem with the sun setting is that the undead began to rise up out of the ground.

While most of the others left town to vanquish the undead I took a rest from the game. By wearing a headband that indicated I was out-of-game and just enjoyed sitting and talking to others around the campfire. As the battles raged on into the night lit only by the moonlight, I went to my tent to sleep. This night I would make sure to get more rest as I had quite the full day of my 2nd NERO event.



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Nero LARP Event – Day 1

   Posted by: Jon    in Gaming, LARP


I arrived alone tonight for my first actual LARP weekend event. I had done a single day Nero Larp a few years ago, but never anything like this. Upon arrival I meet a nice lad who called himself Jon, same as me. His family was here and his wife introduced herself next.

As the sun was quickly setting, I immediately began to pitch my tent for the first time. I had tried an unsuccessful attempt before in the backyard without using stakes. This 3 room tent requires stakes. With a little help from Jon, I was able to get it up in no time. Next was to load up all my gear into the tent and get my air mattress inflated. It was nightfall by the time I was able to get the tent top on. Next, I searched for some wood in order to carve myself a pitch stick for roasting hot dogs. I found a suitable pair of sticks and used some twine I had brought to bind them together. While doing this in my camp, one of the others invited me over to the campfire that had been built. I thanked her and grabbed hot dogs, mustard, and buns. A bit thirsty, I also grabbed a water bottle.

Under the night sky as I chatted with this new family at the NERO event I roasted my food over a campfire pit. Something I haven’t done in many years. I chatted with the family as their kids ran around, enjoying the company and finding out more about the Larp.

As it turns out for the first night of the Larp, tonight was mostly for setting up tent in preparation for tomorrow’s event. Nothing much happens this night. With no one else showing up, I retired to my huge tent and made sure to have my medieval garb out and hung ready for tomorrow, when I shall become another person. A fighter in the game Nero who goes by the name “Ox Gildenhide”.


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digiLARP – It Begins!

   Posted by: Jon    in Dungeons & Dragons, Gaming

This may not seem like much now, but bookmark this site. Watch and wait for something amazing to happen in the coming months/years.

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The year was 1985, I was 12 at the time and into model rockets. The hobby store that I went to had a mixture of gaming and hobby items. I had just checked out some awesome model rocket kits and one with a camera built into the nose cone that would take a series of photos as it fell back to earth. On my way to leave the store along the same wall, I passed these strange fantasy metal figures. Curious, I asked the store owner what they were for. He informed me that you painted them and could use them to play the RPG Dungeons & Dragons.

Fascinated, I began looking at the cover art of the books and manuals and was drawn in instantly. A few weeks later for my 13th birthday when asked what I wanted I told my dad I wanted a few minis and books to get started playing AD&D 1st Ed. He took me to the hobby store and with the owner’s help bought me a 3 adventurer mini pack, 2 pack set of RPG dice, the Dungeon Master’s guide, Player’s Handbook, Monster Manuel, Character Sheets and one module “UK5: Eye of the Serpent”. Needless to say, the years that followed were some of the best in my life as I DM’ed for everyone else in the neighborhood.

*Listed above on the left is one of my very first RPG minitures. On the right is the first RPG miniture I created out of solder using a soldering iron. (not recommended)

My first set of RPG Dice as mentioned in the story above. I still have them and still use them!

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Dragon in the Die. Showing a little love for Fantasy Games, I decided to venture into table top role playing game with a d20 tonight. For this drawing I used a #2HB pencil and a #6B for the darker shadow areas. I then used a shader to blend the shadows. Coloring was done later in post.

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Fantasy Films in need of Funding

   Posted by: Jon    in Dungeons & Dragons, Film, Producing


Recently, I found myself back at the website looking at a web series I found after making a series of random YouTube video clicks. I even funded a film on there that was made in Canada that has already finished filming and just needs the money for marketing. Below are a few of those films I’d like to get the word out there about and see about getting them some funding. Someday, I’ll be right there with them, trying to fund my own projects. Until, I can at least promote and spread the word. Below you will find the name of the project, a brief description, a video if available, and a link to the current status of the project, which you can click on to help fund that film.


A group of friends re-form their weekly gaming group to retake the DungeonCrawl Championships from their former teammate who backstabbed them years prior.

Less Than Heroic

You have to Dungeon Crawl before you can Dungeon Run.


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NaNoWriMo 2010 – Day 16 & 17

   Posted by: Jon    in Gaming, Music, Novels, PC Gaming, Writing

Finally, passed my 20,000 word count goal today. A few days behind but I’m still writing! I took a writing break yesterday and didn’t do anything NaNoWriMo related. Most of the day I enjoyed playing Minecraft after work. After a few days sitting around a 17k word count I began to wonder if I’d ever make it to 20k words. Currently, I’m sitting at 21,195words for my novel. I don’t think I’ve ever written that many words for a novel or story before so for me this is new territory. I’ve also noticed a change in my understanding when I listen to podcasts about writing or read articles on writing because I can directly relate to some of the things being said now.

Today began rather dull and slow. I decided to get something accomplished as the writing was just not happening for me. So I loaded up the T-Pain Autotune applicationon my iPhone and freestyle rapped my own song to the Freaknik song “Save You“. After watching the documentary “Nerdcore Rising” about nerdy rappers who MC their own geeky songs and tour around the country, such as MC Frontalot, I’ve started thinking about trying my hand at Nerdcore rapping about Dungeons & Dragons and other RPG elements. I’d like to write little songs that tell of a story in a D&D type setting. Maybe for my background music I could mix in folk and medieval instruments to give it a fantasy style song. After recording my song I called it “Stuck in Tower” and uploaded it for others to laugh out. It was totally freestyle and I had no idea what I was going to say before I said it. With some planning and practice I’m sure I can get better at this.  

Even though that attempt to rap was only messing around, it made me feel somewhat creatively accomplished and I moved on to dungeon mapping. I mapped out all levels of the Training Ward in my novel shown in the image on this blog post. I then tried writing. Like that past few days it was really hard to even write 300 words let alone 1k. So I looked over my story and decided to write a chapter using my antagonist, the wizard Jamalin Spellslinger. I got 2.8k words out of that chapter alone and it really spiked up my writing creativity. I also introduced one of the later chapter characters in this scene and placed the antagonist scene as Chapter 3. This gave me a subplot that I can later play with and help me character build a little on one of the minor story characters. I ended up writing 4k words today with compared to my recent numbers is really good. I could keep writing, but I need to work tomorrow and should sleep soon. Hopefully, this writing energy keeps going and I can finally catch up.

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NaNoWriMo 2010 – Day 11

   Posted by: Jon    in Gaming, Novels, Writing

So tonight I had one of those office recognition get together after work all expenses paid with dinner and drinks. Of course I was not going to turn that down, but a break is not what I needed right now for my novel writing. However, I did have a good time at Dave & Buster’s. For those not local to the area, it’s an adult arcade like place with midway style fair games mixed among high tech video games and the assortment of gambling like game, such as the one to the right that I played and ended up winning 10900 tickets from. Tickets are the reward system provided for your winnings instead of money. The tickets once turned in can be used to buy you things in their in-store shop. I ended up getting enough tonight to get a copy of Dante’s Inferno for the XBox 360.

I also stopped over at the nearby Best Buy to check out the Kentic, but they only had the bundles. Picked up some new ear-buds for tomorrow night’s WriteIn session at Bookmans and left. Got home and wasn’t hungry so I began working on my novel. Didn’t get too much written, but I did finish mapping out the entire Level 1 area of the Training Ward. This level and 2 more above it will comprise most of my current and next chapter or two. My main character is about to go through training on how to work as a Dungeon Janitor. Ye Olde Dungeon is so well ran and organized, it doesn’t seem like a mad Wizard Overlord is running the place at all.

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New Keyboard

   Posted by: Jon    in Novels, PC Gaming, Writing

Since my old Creative keyboard was dying on me and turned out to be a piece of junk, I decided to go with a new keyboard in preparations for NaNoWriMo next month. Going in to the electronics store I was looking for an old school, simple USB, clear text keyboard with just a few extra media buttons. What I ended up getting was the Razor Lycosa Mirror Special Edition gamer keyboard. So much for basic and simple. A few of the items that attracted me to this keyboard was the High Gloss Mirror Finish keytops, Slim Keycap structure with Hyperesponse technology, touch panel media access controls, and a backlit illumination with WASD cluster lighting option. When I’m not writing, I game a lot. I also happen to make use of WASD on the games I play. So far, I’m quite happy with the new keyboard. The key clicks are there but very quiet and the backlit illuminated keys, something I got burned on with my last keyboard, are surprisingly brighter and readable. The keyboard also has a lower profile that most other keyboards, which is good for my hands since they don’t have to bend back at an angle as much. This completes my hardware purchase for NaNoWriMo. My next purchases will be snacks, candies, drinks, alcohol, and 2 cases of Red Bull. I might also have a pot of coffee on standby through out the month and I rarely drink coffee. Just got to be prepared to see my way through this thing.

On the writing and story creation front, I’ve been chipping away at my three main characters a little bit each day, slowly refining them all into believable characters with unique personalities. From this will grow the voice of each character and from that I hope to develop each character’s own voice/dialog. While looking for character and plot creation tools, I came across the resources of this helpful site – Lots of helpful PDF charts and excel sheets to makes things easier for us writers. Still no artwork yet, however, I think I’ll wait till this weekend to give that a try and do them all at once.

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