Posted on

Carolina Renaissance Festival keeps alive history and fun

Carolina Renaissance Festival
Nobles and royals gather above the heads of the rabble at the opening of jousting for the Carolina Renaissance Festival. (all photos by Ty Johnston)
Carolina Renaissance Festival
A pair of Scottish soldiers are upbraided by their officer (he’s the fancy-looking fellow at left) at the Carolina Renaissance Festival.

This past Saturday the Carolina Renaissance Festival kicked off the opening weekend of its twenty-third season, all with 12 theater stages, more than 100 shops, and 25 acres of fun. Located in Huntersville, North Carolina, just north of Charlotte, the festival offers music, games, rides, comedy, costumes, and food. There’s even a falconry show, and what would a renaissance festival be without jousting tournaments.

This is a perfect venue for those of you who like to sashay about in public in your favorite historic costume, but if you should forget your costume or don’t have one, there is a rental office that can provide any look you want. If your costume tastes tend toward the more speculative, the festival offers a Time Travelers Weekend Nov. 12 and 13 where you can dress as your favorite comic book hero, wear that steampunk outfit, appear as a movie monster, or what have you.

The Time Travelers Weekend isn’t the only special event, either, as a Pirates’ Christmas is scheduled as well as a special Halloween weekend, a brewfest, and more. Continue reading Carolina Renaissance Festival keeps alive history and fun

A former newspaper editor for two decades in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky, Ty now earns his lunch money as a fiction writer, mostly in the fantasy and horror genres. In his free time he enjoys tabletop and video gaming, long swording, target shooting, reading, beer tasting and recalling fond memories of his late wife and their beagle baby, Lily. Find City of Rogues and other books and e-books by Ty Johnston at Amazon.
Posted on

D&Dizing Star Wars for 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition

star warsHello Fellow Nerdarchists.  Due to some issues with our site during our migration to a new server we lost some content.  So if you read my article from last week this is going to be a redo and for that I apologize.

With all the hype for Force Awakens I know that many of you have wanted to play a Sith or a Jedi in a Dungeons and Dragons game. In order to figure out what is the best way to make one of these lets us break down what it means to be a Jedi or a Sith.

You got Star Wars in my D&D; You got D&D in my Star Wars

As most of you have only seen the movies and not read some of the awesome books out there, I will only use the 6 movies. After all very little outside the movies is considered cannon anymore anyway so let’s just go with it.

A force sensitive character is typically well trained in martial arts represented in Dungeons and Dragons by weapon training and a higher hit die.  They are usually we skilled in physical activity and flipping.  In Dungeons and Dragons I would say that they would need to be trained in Athletics and Acrobatics.  They posses spell like effects like running fast, jumping higher or further than a normal person could.  They have mind effecting powers and sensitivity to the world around them unlike normal folk.  All of these things would be easily adapted spells from 5th Edition.

So what would you say are the most likely candidates for these awesome powers.  I know that using the current rules dungeons and dragonsyou can get fairly close especially of you do some creative multi-classing.  However I want to stay away from that for two reasons.  One: some people do not allow it in their games.  And second: multi-classing robs you of some of the really great high level powers that I think you will need to really master, pun intended, being a Jedi.

I look at Fighter: Eldritch knight.  They are good melee characters with access to spells.  You can look at Monk, which has some serious movement powers as well as being very martial as well. Last we can look at Warlock: Blade Pact, which has some martial training and some really great spells.

First lets break down the good and bad of Eldritch Knight.  They are as stated martial characters.  When it comes to one on one combat they are considered the master at arms.  Yes they will probably lose a one on one with a barbarian, but when it comes to training and skill, which Jedi are, they are the tops.  They easily have the choice to be trained in athletics and they do get some cool spells that if re-flavored could get close to some of the Jedi like effects.

However, Jedi are not shown wearing a boat load of armor, and when you play a fighter in D&D you think about a tank in plate mail not robes.  The spells that an Eldritch Knight get are cool but most of them do not fit the world of Star Wars.  They are severely limited to Evocation and Abjuration.  This grossly falls short of our goal.

So lets see how close we can get with Monk.  Monk at first look fits the best visually. The are always well disciplined and receive quite a lot of martial prowess.  Some might say that the light saber could be a short sword since it is so light and it is a monk weapon.  They get a bonus to armor class  so that they do not need to wear armor.  They can easily be trained in athletics and acrobatics.  They are known to have some great movement powers so they can do the fast speed or jumping great distances from an early level.

I am afraid however that they fall short,pun intended again, when it comes to the spell like options that Jedi are known for.  They are not going to influence peoples minds and they are not going to levitate an X-wing Star Fighter out of a murky swamp with naught but a gesture.  This is much closer and if we were looking at Multi-classing I would say that Monk should be wear you start out  but alas . . .

5th editionSo that leaves us with Warlock.  Now I know what you are saying. You hear warlock and you automatically think of a wizard who has made a deal with dark powers to get power that does not fit our noble fight for justice and freedom Jedi Character.  Lets us first look at that.  Warlocks have access to a power from a mysterious FORCE that lets them do a lot of cool stuff that they would not normally be able to do. Since the being be hind the power is inconsequential I am not going to look at that.

If you take the Pact of the Blade you have the ability to be proficient in your weapon of choice and it can look like anything you want.  Easiest way to get a weapon that looks like a light saber to me.  You also have the ability to summon it.  In game terms it just appears in your hand but you could always flavor it to have it fly across the distance when you get disarmed.

You have some Invocations that fit extremely well for Jedi Flavored power:  Ascendant Step lets you levitate, One with the shadows is a great sith power to remain unseen, Otherworldly leap lets you use the jump spell at will very fitting.  Knocking creatures back with an eldritch blast fueled by repelling blast  looks very familiar to fighting droids in the new trilogy.  And that is just the obvious ones.  I am sure if I looked more closely I could find more references to justify more of them.

Looking at the Warlock spell list I see some great Jedi/Sith candidates.  Mage hand , charm person and witch bolt.  If you read this oen closely I am sure it will stir up some cool STAR WARS memories.  Hold Person and enthrall have effects that fit very well with our goals as well.  Even Scrying could be done as a re-flavor to those force sensitive.

I personally feel that this is the closest of the three and better than other possibles but there are some things lacking.  If only there were a Patron that would get it access to spells like enhance ability and telekinesis or Bigby’s hand.  Stay tuned Next week and I will break down and give you those powers so that you can play a Jedi in your 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons game.  Week after I will give you how to create that sith.  As I see it now they are not that far apart but there will be a few distinctions that I am still working on.

As always thanks for reading and Until Next Time Stay Nerdy!!

 

 

 

 

The nerd is strong in this one. I received my bachelors degree in communication with a specialization in Radio/TV/Film. I have been a table op role player for about 20 years 17 of which with the current group. I have played several itterations of D&D, Mutants and Masterminds 2nd and 3rd editions, Star wars RPG, Shadowrun and World of Darkness. I am an avid fan of books and follow a few authors reading all they write. Favorite author is Jim Butcher I have been an on/off larper for around 15 years even doing a stretch of running my own for a while. I have played a number of Miniature games including Warhammer 40K, Warhammer Fantasy, Heroscape, Mage Knight, Dreamblade and D&D Miniatures. I have practiced with the art of the German long sword with an ARMA group for over 7 years studying the German long sword, sword and buckler, dagger, axe and polearm. By no strecth of the imagination am I an expert but good enough to last longer than the average person if the Zombie apocalypse ever happens. I am an avid fan of board games and dice games with my current favorite being Quarrios.
Posted on

Join The Fun With Mystic Realms Fantasy Fair In Wheaton Villiage, New Jersey

larpHello my fellow nerds out there.  It looks like my columns are becoming more a regular here, It is I Nerdarchist Ted.  While I should have spent the day at Wizard World Philly, life intervened and forced me in another direction.

I am glad it was as I was able to attend the Mystic Realms Fantasy Faire in Wheaton Villiage and what a day it was.  Apart from dipping my feet back into the LARP well where my larping originated it was a good show.

As always with the Mystic Realms Fantasy Faire you have a mix of stage shows and vendors, but in addition to that you have a number of interactive places to visit as well as many cool people in costumes. Continue reading Join The Fun With Mystic Realms Fantasy Fair In Wheaton Villiage, New Jersey

The nerd is strong in this one. I received my bachelors degree in communication with a specialization in Radio/TV/Film. I have been a table op role player for about 20 years 17 of which with the current group. I have played several itterations of D&D, Mutants and Masterminds 2nd and 3rd editions, Star wars RPG, Shadowrun and World of Darkness. I am an avid fan of books and follow a few authors reading all they write. Favorite author is Jim Butcher I have been an on/off larper for around 15 years even doing a stretch of running my own for a while. I have played a number of Miniature games including Warhammer 40K, Warhammer Fantasy, Heroscape, Mage Knight, Dreamblade and D&D Miniatures. I have practiced with the art of the German long sword with an ARMA group for over 7 years studying the German long sword, sword and buckler, dagger, axe and polearm. By no strecth of the imagination am I an expert but good enough to last longer than the average person if the Zombie apocalypse ever happens. I am an avid fan of board games and dice games with my current favorite being Quarrios.
Posted on

Nerdarchist Ted Get’s Nerdy At the Steampunk World’s Fair 2014

Hello my fellow Nerds out there.  It is I, Ted your Nerdarchist for this report.  I have just got back from the wonderful convention of the fifth annual Steampunk World’s Fair and as always it was wonderful.  If you are not familiar with what steampunk is it is what happens when Goths meet brown or better described as an alternate history where electricity never took off.

Copper and brass are your dominant metals and things are powered by steam and gears.  You can “steam” anything by making it the right color metal and adding gears and/or a steam-vent.  The fashion sense is typically in the Victorian setting where people are usually wearing hats, even the guys.steampunk world's fair

Continue reading Nerdarchist Ted Get’s Nerdy At the Steampunk World’s Fair 2014

The nerd is strong in this one. I received my bachelors degree in communication with a specialization in Radio/TV/Film. I have been a table op role player for about 20 years 17 of which with the current group. I have played several itterations of D&D, Mutants and Masterminds 2nd and 3rd editions, Star wars RPG, Shadowrun and World of Darkness. I am an avid fan of books and follow a few authors reading all they write. Favorite author is Jim Butcher I have been an on/off larper for around 15 years even doing a stretch of running my own for a while. I have played a number of Miniature games including Warhammer 40K, Warhammer Fantasy, Heroscape, Mage Knight, Dreamblade and D&D Miniatures. I have practiced with the art of the German long sword with an ARMA group for over 7 years studying the German long sword, sword and buckler, dagger, axe and polearm. By no strecth of the imagination am I an expert but good enough to last longer than the average person if the Zombie apocalypse ever happens. I am an avid fan of board games and dice games with my current favorite being Quarrios.