One, We are still here!!! The webpage itself just does not see a lot of activity that can be seen by the public because… AND NOTE, THIS IS IMPORTANT:
Our Guild Discussion forums are located at a different link, using PhpBB software. Why a guild webpage and separate forums? Last time I checked there was no decent way to Embed PhpBB Forums (or any of the other decent forum packages), into a WordPress site. The forum software is updated too often for it to be used for anything more than forums, and so a website outside of the forums is needed. While WordPress does offer forum type plugins/software, I find it very inadequate to a full blown forum software package. So we have both!
ALSO NOTE: When you go to the forums there is a general discussion section that the public can see.. and that’s ALL! There IS an ACTIVE guild member only forum section, but to see them you have to have access to them!
To get access to the forums, you will need to register an account, which I will then have to go in and manually verify. While this is a pain, it is the best anti-spam measures available.
If I don’t do this within a day, use the contact form on this website to drop me a note and I’ll get it taken care of for you.
Only Guild members are granted access to the guild forums OR prospective guild members that would like to have an opportunity to hang out in our forums. If your thinking about joining the guild and want guild forum access, just contact me!
The reason the “website” does not see much use, is I don’t have the time to do a lot with it. If someone wants a feature or asks me to do something, I will most likely do it if someone is asking me to.. because someone is asking, so they are using or looking at it, and that makes me happy to do it.
Otherwise, for general care – we need someone to maintain some things on the website. Hopefully, we eventually recruit someone interested in doing at least one of the things the site needs loving attention given to it, for! Maybe you?
What are those things?
-Maintaining the guild roster page(s)
-maybe we put a calendar up and keeping that updated with guild events and info
-general updating of the content on the site as needed
-someone to publish posts (like this one), about the guild and guild member related projects. Recap’s of guild events
-Anything else your imagination can supply.. Ill help with software installation if needed!
It’s all very easy to do. Much like using a word processing program! Drop me a note if interested
I was a bit sad to see recently that some of the Shroud of the Avatar Developers were being let go, as many of them I consider associates outside of the game and in a few cases even friends. So anytime I hear about a staff change, it affects me a bit more personal in that I worry about people I know personally suffering some hardship.
When I read such news, I have no surprise. From that perspective, it’s like someone told me they decided not to have a cup of coffee or a Mountain dew that morning. Oh? That’s a bit different today, but it happens.
Then what BLOWS ME AWAY is the Damage the Shroud of the Avatar player Community does both to the Game and the company. It sort of goes like this:
-We are making a change, that is normal for us to make at different times in development, as a game developer.
-The community then scatters rumors, sells, players quit, and puts the overall player base and game development months behind. In short.. The player community does more damage then any enemy to the game could do.
Portalarium has exsisted since before Shroud of the Avatar. Something people seem to keep forgetting.
I have been involved deeply in my life with Shroud of the Avatar, since before it Kickstarted. What I mean by that, is I knew from watching the company and Richard they where working on things, and I was already being involved with the company, it’s develoeprs, etc.. in any way I could (although at that time it was small). If I didn’t take a picture, it didnt happen, right?
This is a group I THINK I created on Facebook before Shroud of the Avatar had even been fully decided on by the company and Richard Garriott. Course, I left my own group and didn’t delete it, and so just had to re-request membership to a group I once made. LoL. It still exists though, so you can pull it up on Facebook and verify its pre-dated Shroud of the Avatar
I am also friends on Facebook with Portalarium developers, dated before Shroud of the Avatar day 1 Kickstarter, and many other things. This was me saying “Dammit Richard, im stalking you and your company until your next RPG video game, whatever that is”.
During all this time. THIS HAS HAPPENED MANY TIMES!!!!!!
Game development is like hiring actors to perform a role. Once you have finished shooting their clips in the film, what the F do you want to do? Pay them to sit on their asses and watch everyone else work? Especially when you are running very lean?
I am not saying I agree with the model, the way it runs, or the way it works.
However, it has been fully established by Portalarium, that this is how they run their game development. This includes letting people go at different stages and bringing new people in. This is not the first time and it is not the last time.
What is the true state of the game, its player base, etc? I felt it was growing VERY slowly, but that it was growing. Given that no major marketing has been done yet I felt this was a good sign. This was my feeling only and the truth is, I have no idea!
Then Portalarium does what it has done many times now, and made changes necessary to continue that GROWTH, rather than stay at the same place, and everyone flips out. Now MAYBE this time is different in all the past times in that there’s more going on then we are seeing or they are saying, and it bodes ill.
The thing is, there’s no way for anyone to really be able to say that, just based on them doing yet another staff change, and I’m sure it won’t be the last!
Unfortunately, I feel bad for the company though and my fellow community members that get it. It being that, what DOES hurt the game is the panic from the community as a result..
Which is running around, making posts everywhere, trying to sell anything they can, and making judgments without basis on the state of affairs. Overall, this MAY be the end of Shroud of the Avatar or next time Portalarium makes some staff changes, THAT may be the end of Shroud of the Avatar.
However, I don’t blame Portalarium. I blame the reactions of its community in the panic they present, from what has already been proven as “daily business” for Portalarium.
Anyway, this is the most I could bring myself to talk about this subject. I see the forum posts, and posts in other places and I can’t respond to them, because all I want to do is yell at people and say “are you really that STUPID that you don’t realize, that right now YOU are the problem, creating a PROBLEM, when there might not have been a problem? Now there is.. because of you”.
So instead I keep my mouth shut. I felt I would do one blog piece on this, for the less stupid and this is the most I am covering this topic or the current state of affairs.
Community Member the Mad Hatter is putting together a Shroud of the Avatar Players Meet / Lan Party. Being held in Chicago, IL and taking place on 10/6/2017
This event also seems to be getting some official recognition:
As mentioned in the Summer Telethon Part 1 and Lord British Birthday Telethon… Mad Hatter is happy to hold the 1st exclusive SotA community LAN event. This event will be held on “Mad Hatter Day 10/6” in Chicago and hope to be an annual event.
As well as digital attendance rewards.
$25 (Cloak Only – Not attending event)
$55 (Signup & Cloak) Until August 14th, 2017 @ 11:59PM (Central Standard Time)
It has been a while since we have had a guild update on our page so I decided to put one out. It’s certainly not that we aren’t here. We are just a quiet and/or busy bunch of times!
So just some quick highlights!
First, I would like to welcome our new member Jynx! YAY!!! We Bid Ye Welcome Jynx, and thanks for giving us a shot! Jynx is known for many contributions to the SotA community and I personally feel very blessed Jynx joined us.
Secondly, I wanted to congratulate four Caverns Guild members on earning ONBE awards! Vyrin and Womby a bit back both earned one for their work with books in both the game and the community. More recently member Lord Baldrith and Honorary Member Asclepius both were given a ONBE for their work podcasting on Echoes from The Caverns!
Finally, Neath and The Caverns Under Neath moved in the game a short distance recently. We are now in the mountains right next to Central Brittany and The New Britannia Market. As part of that move, we connected with the NBM as well.
As always, The Caverns Guild continues to be the greatest guild I have ever had the fortune to be a member of!
Skip this if you want to miss a shameless plug, but nonetheless, something you may think is cool!
It’s always a party when I get a new Patron, but even more so when it is someone as prestigious as the Hearth of Britannia!
The Hearth of Brittania is an active and in my opinion at least, a major community leader in both the Ultima and the Shroud of the Avatar game communities.
Rustic Dragon of the Heath of Britannia himself has been a developer for Shroud of the Avatar, hired by making his mark in the community and impressing the developers with his work. A recipient of a Royal warrant and his famous “cabinet of Virtues” was included in the game, as was The Hearth of Britannia itself!
He also runs regular Google Hangouts as an open forum for discussion for the Ultima Dragons and guests. A place where one of the mottos are “You will always have a home with the Hearth.” As a member of the Ultima Dragons myself, it’s a home that means a lot to me and is very welcoming to new people.
Also on Patreon themselves, engaged in several projects including the development of a cookbook based on the foods from the Ultima Game series.
Even closer and dearer to my own heart, The Hearth of Britannia runs occasional player meets with LARP’ing aspects and is creating an LARP system!!
The Hearth of Britannia is creating an Ultima companion cookbook, LARP system, events, and more!
The Hearth of Britannia tries to give back to the community, and it’s joining as a Patron was a way the Hearth of Britannia is currently helping many of the community members by giving back when they got a bit more than needed for immediate goals.
I highly recommend checking them out if any of their projects sound like they may be of interest. You would be becoming part of a fantastic small community that is big on supporting those among it!
So Amber Raine just posted this over in the SotA Facebook Group. Something you may want to check out!
Up from the ashes they did rise
Look of shock and confusion filled the Avatars eyes
As Skeleton, Zombie, Wraith, and Ghost
Popped the cork on the keg to see who could drink the most
A party it was they sought to begin
and invited you are so join right in
The Day of the Dead is but 3 days away
And as it should be, Hallowe’en is being celebrated today!
FireLotus shall lead the troops away from the war
So leave your swords and bows next to the door
The bar is stocked with the best of Novian brew
So there is only one thing left to do
A new type of dance craze alike the monster mash,
A plague across the nation has taken holdfast
Here in Jade Valley we shall party til the rising of the sun
Scaring the the children with the dance called “The Starrlton”
Avatars it is that time again. Time to put down the swords and pick up the beers.
Time to stop killing and start partying!
Avatars Radio proudly Presents the Traditional FireLotus Release Party
We shall be celebrating the joy of a new release, new places to explore and so much more!
Join us for companionship, partying, and grand amounts of prizes!
Add-on Store and In game prizes given away during this event. You must be present to win.
Contact Mal Hari for Directions.
TIME: Friday, October 28th 2016. 2pm – 4pm NBT
Location of Party: Jade Valley
What I am about to unveil to you is certainly not a “complete” project, but rather one that will be ongoing as long as I continue to maintain the websites. The SotA Con Event Coordinators that contacted me about this project have given me some feedback as I have worked on it, but they may still have additional feedback, and I will certainly take that into consideration for updates. Finally, you can cause change and updates as well! Feedback is an amazing thing that way.
I WOULD LIKE TO ADD A FAQ!!! Please send me questions you may have, as you prepare for an event like this if you are going in stile! I will not only try to help out, but where it makes sense to do so, I will add the material to my guide or create a FAQ page to the handbook.
What I put together has a few parts to it. You can use either aspect separately, or pair the two together for a more powerful tool.
First, the guide.
A new permanent page on The Caverns! A basic (very basic) guide to LARP and Garb. A few things to keep in mind when shopping for Garb, LARP, and some tips for making and putting together your outfit cheaply.
I put together some “themed” outfits in my store. These are not single click packages, but instead show you all the individual pieces in the theme. I set it up this way for many reasons.
-One was convenience. Many of these items require size, color, or other options selected. I felt that not only putting that many required options into a single checkout would be time-consuming but also confusing to the buyer.
-Another is minor customization. If you are looking for only a couple of pieces, want to substitute out with another store option, whatever the reason! You have the ability to jump in, grab the items you want, and then shop the rest of the store or check out. For example, you may use a belt you already own, rather then buying one in the package.
-It also reduces the number of packages I need to put into the store with just subtle revisions, making it simpler for you to shop without loosing the ability to see some of those options.
-Finally, it may just help you with ideas! Maybe you don’t want a particular item but like the concept. Perhaps you see an item that you decide you can make yourself or you want, but in a slightly different version, I have elsewhere in the store.
Let’s say you are going to an event, and you want to go as a Cook. You drop over to my store and grab a basic outfit theme and toss it into your cart.
You then use the search tool, which I have found to be excellent, on the word “cook”. Decide that while you like the foam cleaver that you don’t need one made to SCA standards as you do not plan on hitting anyone with it.
So you then hop over to Amazon or Hobby Lobby and pick up some foam and paints and go to work!
You can use some of the tips in my guide to making your garb in combination with some of the items I offer in my store. The themes can be a great way to pick a few basic pieces and then add in where you want!
Finally, help me improve on it by letting me help you!
You can do this simply by dropping me a note using the contact form on any of my websites. I get it, and I respond, ask anyone that has ever done so!!
Let me know what you’re working on. Give me as much detail as possible including estimated budget.
I will add a “Package themes page” to the guide. I will post your theme package as a sub-page so that in the future other people shopping for that theme can check it out.
Using the example on the cook, you drop me a note, telling me what your thinking, It can be as simple as a single word and I will come back with options, or it can be a highly detailed wish list.
I would then put together various options using both items from my store and from Amazon. Which items I use from where will be based on how much you are spending, how much do-it-yourself, and other such factors you are looking for.
Amazon because I am an affiliate and while I LOVE those few cents (Maybe even dollars!) I would make, it’s really about the fact that almost anyone can shop with them. They are typically inexpensive if you know how to find things, and as an affiliate, I can make decent links VERY quickly, images and all!
Finally, I will also email you back personally to go over it in a little more details as to how it pertains to you, and you may want me to help you source or generate some more from that point.
If you are looking only for ready-made, quality products that my store offers, then I will work the best I can within your budget (adding additional discounts if I can!!), to put together your theme. Instead of putting it on the guide, though, I would put it in that section of the store.
adding additional discounts if I can!!
So please, don’t be shy! I am offering to help out as in turn you are providing me a tool that will be of use to others and in turn my business.
If I am unable to find the time or can’t assist for any other reason, I will let you know.
You realize some people pay for a service like this, right? Use it!
SPEAKING OF DISCOUNTS!!!!!
– Use code “SOTACON” for 10% off all of your orders until 1the end of October!
– I May be able to do better for you, depending on a number of factors such as brand, order size, etc. If you want to send a note in through the contact form at what you are looking to order, I will return correspondence with a better discount. I have more leeway, especially as order size goes up or any number of other considerations. So please, if you are going to the Shroud of the Avatar convention, drop me a note with a list of the sku#’s on the web page you are considering. If after I send you a note on what I can offer you want to proceed, I will send you a Paypal Business Invoice for the order with the additional discounts.
I will return correspondence with a better discount.
I, Stile Teckel, Hereby dedicate this guide to the Shroud of the Avatar Convention. AKA SotA Con. A huge thank you to those involved with the convention who approached me with the idea of creating this guide, as well as providing suggestions and feedback.
Rustic Dragon has decided to start a Patreon for The Hearth of Britannia with the goal of creating an “Ultima companion cookbook, LARP system, events, and more!”.
For you Shroud of the Avatar players not familiar with Rustic Dragon and The Hearth of Britannia… Shame on you! Rustic Dragon AKA Joseph Toschlog is one of the founding leaders in the Shroud of the Avatar player community, who through his contributions, passion, and skills earned himself a position on the Portalarium developer team for a while.
The feature image on this post is the “Hearth of Britannia” as seen from the Shroud of the Avatar game (an out of date shot by the way).
Responsible for many many other things, one of my other favorites (maybe because I have one) in relationship to Shroud of the Avatar, is the “Cabinet of Virtues”!
Currently considered by most as the rarest item in the game, Rustic Dragon held a telethon for Shroud of the Avatar to generate revenue. One of the things that came about due to this was this in game replica of his real life cabinet. It was earned by donating $25.00 to the telethon.
He is also an Ultima Dragon, past Ultima Collector and his roots and knowledge extend far and wide in the gaming world. An individual after my own heart!
So please take a moment, whether you are a fan of Ultima, Shroud of the Avatar, cooking, video games, or just helping support cool projects by good people, and see if this is something you may want to support.
The Ultima Forever maps have eluded my grasp for a long time now, partly due to my insistence to get a good buy in the past. It’s actually rather interesting that at one time I had spent weeks watching them sell like crazy on Ebay and watched as the price was down to about $20-30.00. One week I loaded up to go to New York to visit Richard Garriott, came home, and saw that I had missed a chance to nab both maps they produced for under $15.00 while I was away. Yes, that still hurts!
I have only seen them go up on Ebay since that time a couple of times and usually for a starting price of about $50.00. Ahh, did that window of opportunity slam shut hard on me!
Another cool SWAG item that Ultima Forever did were the Virtue cards. There was a smaller size set and a larger size set. I have one of them sealed (I believe it’s the larger) and they are pertty neat.
If you didn’t attend or donate to the Hobloth III for a set of trinkets, you still have a chance to get them!
Rustic Dragon did a great job on these type of items for the previous events and they have been very popular in the community. I know that I am getting excited knowing I have a set of these coming to me in the mail from my donation! I also own a set from the Holboth II and they are superb. So if you have any doubts as to whether you want to add these to your colelction, shouldn’t! They are sweet!