July 10 2018

Shroud of the Avatar, It’s Developers, & Community In the News

The last few months I have been unable to publish this piece, but rest assured I am still here and other then the short pause, nothing has changed! Glad to be picking it back up again and let’s just get straight to it!

Starting off, it’s pretty hard to discuss video gaming history without at some point bringing up the name Richard Garriott. That’s exactly what is taking place on this piece, posted at US Game. Exploring Ultima and Teletype RPGs, Plus #24 on Our Top 25 RPG Countdown


Austin game developer Richard Garriott brought a crew of child explorers — including his own — to the North Pole in April. They flew the Austin flag while they were there and presented that flag to the mayor on Tuesday.

If you missed the fact he did this a while back… He did.

You can read more about it on Statesman. Family flies Austin flag at North Pole, presents flag to mayor


If you know the history of Richard Garriott, you know that it all started at a Computerland. Who was the man behind the Computerland? Find out about that and more in a new book coming out, which details the history of Richard Garriott.


About John Prosper Mayer


Massively Overpowered has a nice little article over here talking about some of where Shroud of the Avatar is going now. A quick read, so not going to take up a lot of your time to check it out!

SHROUD OF THE AVATAR OPENS UP OPTIONAL ‘REWARDS’ SUBS, STRETCH GOAL CASH SHOP TO FUND EPISODE 2

Category: Lord British, Single Player Ultima | Comments Off on Shroud of the Avatar, It’s Developers, & Community In the News
June 22 2018

Shroud of the Avatar Guide to Novia

Hello, Shroud of the Avatar folks!

I am excited to announce that community member Greyhaven recently approached me about hosting his Guide to Novia on Caverns, Dungeons, and Beyond!

A couple of quotes from Greyhaven himself:

The guide features sagely observations and useful insights from such renown figures as Sorcerous Steve, Sea Wolf, “Vas Corp Por” Koleski, “Scottie” Jones, Earl Greyshot, mysterious Arabella and not forgetting our Sovereign, Lord British, himself!

It is a large 26mb, 85 page, high-quality format PDF document containing information from over 260 Shroud of the Avatar updates. It is extensively illustrated by specially produced “pen & ink drawing-effect” pictures.

WOW! He’s not kidding, this thing is absolutely fantastic and I personally plan on printing a copy in duplex and binding it!

If you are interested in checking this out, you can download it, print it, open it in Adobe reader, or I even have it embedded on the web page for you!
http://www.thecaverns.net/Wordpress/shroud-of-the-avatar/resources/game-guides/guide-to-novia/

If you ever lose your direct link, from the menu system it is under SotA & Ultima/Game Resources – top link on that page!

Category: Crowdsourcing, Exploring, People | Comments Off on Shroud of the Avatar Guide to Novia
June 22 2018

Shroud of the Avatar Community Repeating History Because Not Learning History?

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.

Thanks for listening!

Category: Guilds & Communities, Offical, State of the Realm | Comments Off on Shroud of the Avatar Community Repeating History Because Not Learning History?
June 12 2018

Game Developer and Artist Scott Jones Coming to My Home and Possibly Yours in Shroud of the Avatar!

How do you get Scott Jones in Your house in Shroud of the Avatar? Just go pledge on this Kickaster, I have, at the highest level, and feel awesome about being able to do so!

Don’t miss this opportunity to bring a smile to the face of an individual, who brings smiles to everyone around him. Let’s show him the love!

Category: Dev news | Comments Off on Game Developer and Artist Scott Jones Coming to My Home and Possibly Yours in Shroud of the Avatar!
March 27 2018

A Prototype Art Review of Work Obtained from Relics by Rild

CONGRATULATIONS SHROUD OF THE AVATAR ON LAUNCH!

Having been here since day #1, I can only say it has been a wild ride so far, and I’m glad it’s technically just starting!!


Hello Players!

If you’ve been saying to yourselves lately, that Stile guy has become worthless.. Well.. I.. Um, Yeah, let’s just leave it at “busy” and not even try to go beyond that explanation!

I’m here though, so pony up the Bribes for your GM and let’s roll initiative! Pass me a Mountain dew, some Cheeto’s and pull out your enchanted daggers and magic Missles!

This session at the table is going to be quick as I need some sleep. I DO have a big Keeping up with SotA piece coming, and should have it out in the next day or two. I hope. It was originally going to be part of this one *green*


Rolling a critical today is Relics by Rild! Taking some serious notes over the past few years on the importance of releases, Rild decided to boost support for the game by launching an entirely new line of Canvas Prints ON GAME LAUNCH DAY!

Those cool paintings in-game? GET THEM FOR REALS! No dart trap’s, no Mimic’s, just fantastic objects of art! Not only that, Whether you want normal Human size or Colossal Red Dragon sized, you can get it!

Now I will admit I fudged a roll behind the screen back here, and the Featured image of this posts show’s one of these below a sword, making it look REALLY big!

Well, It might have done better at doing so, If I was a better photographer in terms of experience with trying to pull that off. It was a ruse though, as I just used a sword letter opener.

The one you’re seeing here in the photos is a prototype that some Rogue went in and slipped out of this massive pile of stuff Rild sleeps on, and burgled it out some back passageway, past this annoying bird that just kept pecking away. Until I eventually acquired it and now get to review it for you!

So I did what all folks do when acquiring a new item, and rolled my appraisal skill. I was highly impressed with the quality of the frame. The wood is clean, not rotting, no splinters. Corners meet well, plenty of staples to keep the Vinyl in place yet fully sunk at the same time! It’s not Masterwork, nor would one expect such for a hidden frame, but frankly, in my opinion, it’s better then it needs to be!

In fact, I contacted Rild and asked him if he was crafting in the shop and had leveled up his carpentry skills recently. We talked, it was a good time.

To create an entire scroll rack out of a simple appraisal roll, Id also add that I really like the small one’s as you could do up an entire wall with all the different ones! Then you could do your ceilings in the big ones!!

Lot’s of other cool things in the store including some sales that have Dwarven smiths running for their gem Caches!

Relics by Rild – Shroud of the Avatar Merchandise

Category: Relics by Rild | Comments Off on A Prototype Art Review of Work Obtained from Relics by Rild
March 18 2018

Is There a Signifigance Between the Ready Player One and Shroud of the Avatar Release Dates?

Hello everyone!

Before I roll initiative and jump into the meat of this topic, let me say I apologize for the blog being a bit on the quiet side of late. As I am getting ready for the spring Convention season as a retailer, I’m having to spend a bit less time on the blog at the moment. Pit traps and giant web’s have been really slowing me down.

As a result, the amount of articles I have I need to put out to everyone is growing quite large. I plan on doing an “as brief as I can” summary piece soon.

In the meantime, I really wanted to get this topic that has been on my mind out there!

Most Shroud of the Avatar players know these things, which is not known as widely by Ready Player One fans.
– Ben Holiday in Ready Player one is at least partially inspired by Richard Garriott.
– Ernest Cline is a fan of Richards work and the reverse has become true as well.
– Richard and Ernest Cline have become friends.
– Shroud of the Avatar has things in the game, taken from or inspired by Ready Player One, such as Fyndors Tablet.

Not as many people from either category will succeed on their lore skill check to know or remember that Richard Garriott was playing around with a game Called Ultimate Garage Sale Collector.

Even more of note that Richard and Cline teamed up and held a real-life contest which involved Richards game. Heck, I participated in it myself as far as I completed it in Ultimate Garage Sale Collector and earned the Back to the Future Delorean replica in the game! Wish I had screenshots. If I do, I have no idea where I put them. The days of pre-blogging… But I was Epic level in that game, lived in Britannia Manor, had all the best toys, and I didn’t even spend any real-life loot!

ready-player-one | Real-Life Easter Egg Hunt

Contest Winners Level Up In The Ready Player One Easter Egg Hunt | Giant Freakin RobotGiant Freakin Robot

Known by no one but probably myself insofar as remembering it and making a connection, unless you have some really weird memory feat. In reference to Ready Player One, Ben Holiday, Himself, and all the similarities, Richard Garriott once made a comment along the lines of “Ben and I have more in common then people know yet”.

I personally believe this to have been an easter egg clue by Richard that there are in fact more Ready Player crossover plans of SOME type, for Shroud of the Avatar planned in the future. This comment was made by Richard after all the other previously mentioned things took place and nothing really has been announced since. In short, if this is a clue to future plans those plans have not happened yet.

I’m sorry, I can’t back that up with a source or provide a date like that, not sure which manual the info was printed in. I’m an encyclopedia of weird things like that I store (whether I want to or not) and then make connections to other things in the future with. I saw it on his Facebook, but it was syndicated over from a Tweet. So if you have a higher point bonus to your Twitter skill then I do, please start a research montage and pull it up! I am so clueless as to how to even start, I’d be rolling with a -10.

(Stone Dice, buy these on Etsy by Caveloot!)


We Bid Ye Welcome by Caveloot on Etsy


So Let’s come full circle on this to “Now”

Anything else more current we need to look at?

With 365 days in the years Shroud of the Avtar officially “launches” the day before Ready Player one? Check.

Are my Liege and Mr. Cline still in any sort of contact where they may have chances to chit chat and hatch plans? Indeed! In fact, Richard was just in the best seating for the pre-release of Ready Player one at SSX!

Unless I am really fumbling my rolls here, I have to think there is some sort of additional plans in store we will be hearing shortly after this “joint?” launch. At the minimum I think we will see some sort of really cool contest, with easter eggs in the game. I really do think that will be just the beginning though.

I’ll be watching! *Peers from Over Gm Screen*

If your a Shroud of the avatar Player and have not Read Ready Player One, you may want to fix that. It’s possible it could have an effect on your future game!

Category: Lord British, Other Games | Comments Off on Is There a Signifigance Between the Ready Player One and Shroud of the Avatar Release Dates?
February 15 2018

*SQUEALS LIKE A GIRL* Coins from Relics by Rild and Frank Baxley!


(Note: Sorry for images not looking correct at the moment, or being able to be pulled up to look at in large size. Currently working on fixing lightbox, gallery issues with the site, but before I can do so, there are other bugs I am having my host work out from the new migration first. Thanks for patience and photos should be back up and pretty before long).

OMG, OMG, OMG! It was so awesome opening a box today from Relics by Rild!

Frank Baxley recently designed two new coins for Shroud of the Avatar, which is now for purchase in the Relics from Rild store.

So, this was a hard purchase for me. I became unemployed in 2017 and I have decided to stay that way as an entrepreneur who has yet and probably will not for a few years, makes enough to be qualified as “self-employed”. As you can imagine part of this decision includes a self-sacrifice in that there is very very little I purchase that does not serve a need of some kind. Usually most of my purchases these days are investments for my business in some way.

So when not one but TWO new coins went into the store at the same time, some tough decisions had to be made! I mean, I’ve been wanting one of the SotA Title Art Woodcut Hoodie’s for ages now as it is!

Ultimately there was never any question! No way I am not getting my hands on any coins made by Frank Baxley that I had an opportunity for, and do not already own. I’ll share my collection below.

Very happy I decided to work these into the budget. They are both beautiful, but clearly, the Blade of the Avatar coin is a new level of coin making from Frank. This particular coin is larger than any others he has made (that I own at least), and to me personally, is just the most creative, artistic, best-looking one he has done.

Great job Frank!!!

My Shroud of the Avatar and Related Coins:
Not all of these coins are made by Frank, but most of them are.

Category: Caverns, Dungeons, and Beyond, People, Relics by Rild | Comments Off on *SQUEALS LIKE A GIRL* Coins from Relics by Rild and Frank Baxley!
November 26 2017

Keeping up with Shroud of the Avatar, it’s Developer’s, and it’s Community

Long overdue to highlight some of the things taking place that may be of interest to many of the Shroud of the Avatar community!


One thing that just happened is community member Rosemourne transcribed the R46 post-mortem telethon. Definitely, a cool thing to do for the community!

R46 Post-Mortem Telethon Transcription | Shroud of the Avatar Forum


Both Richard Garriott and his wife Laetitia Garriott, who met through their joint interests in spaceflight, also held duel judge positions recently!

Surprise Double Prize at the Austin “Sharks in Space” Event


Let’s not miss out on the articles by various game sites, magazines, blogs, and other such places that have done articles on Shroud of the Avatar itself!

Shroud Of The Avatar Details Release 48 Updates | MMOExaminer

Are Too Many MMORPGs Using the Fantasy Genre? | MMOExaminer

Shroud Of The Avatar Shows Off Armor And Holiday Items | MMOExaminer

Shroud of the Avatar – Invading Europe – MMORPG.com

Shroud Of The Avatar Gives Patch Notes For Release 47 | MMOExaminer

Warum hacken alle auf Shroud of the Avatar rum? – Mein-MMO.de

What's Ahead for the Balance of 2017? The Journey to Early Access Release – Shroud of the Avatar – MMORPG.com

What's Ahead for the Balance of 2017? The Journey to Early Access Release – Shroud of the Avatar – MMORPG.com


Some cool things from the community! Speaking of which, I am going to be in a play soon! Right, the stuff..

Join the Meretz SotA Tribe | Shroud of the Avatar Forum

Some other Misc Stuff

Gamasutra – GDC 2018 to host a special 20th anniversary

Windows 10 Issue and Workaround | Shroud of the Avatar Forum

Visceral Games Joins A Long List Of Studios Closed By EA

News – All News

Tracy Hickman working on some cool things outside of Sota!
The VOID Tackles Star Wars Universe in Next Experience – Utah Business

Category: Crowdsourcing, Game News Sites, Lady British, Lord British, Lord DarkStarr, Space Sites | Comments Off on Keeping up with Shroud of the Avatar, it’s Developer’s, and it’s Community
October 13 2017

Helen Garriott Auction Spotlight + SotA Bonus Golden Moon Dial Auction Spotlight


This was an exciting auction to come across my radar, as while I have heard a lot of the Garriott stories I had never heard of this one!

Story or not the photo is fantastic. You can see the pure wonderment on Helen’s face, and Owen in the background has a huge grin!

$10.00 Starting bid with reasonable shipping, this is a cool addition to someone’s collection!

1973 Press Photo Helen Garriott aboard Skylab II capsule-1st Woman in Space | eBay


Since I hate doing auction spotlights for just 1 item, I figured I will use some of my own blog space for a couple of auctions I am running for Shroud of the Avatar items, one in particular.

If you didn’t Seed invest but are a collector, then you may have your eyes on many of the Seed invest items. Currently, I have an auction that just started, running just a tad over two weeks, for a Golden Lord British Moondial, taking place on Caveloot.com.

Auctions – Caveloot.com

The Moondial to rich for your blood? Do you have some house decorating you need to do or having trouble keeping your vendor stocked and need goods to sell for profit?

I also have an auction running for a “Massive House Decorating kit” that comes with hundreds of items that should allow you to at least get a fairly decent start on the job, including storage! Current bid is $55.00 and that is CHEAP for this kit!

Auctions – Caveloot.com

Have item’s you want to auction? We only charge a 10% commission and do all the work, while you tell us how to run it! Contact stile@thecaverns.net for more information. Also, have a nice layout with the details on the Shroud of the Avatar forums here: Online Auction Services at Caveloot.com – Perfect for Selling Golden Items! | Shroud of the Avatar Forum

Category: Lord Baldrith, People, SotA Auction Spotlight, The Caverns Store | Comments Off on Helen Garriott Auction Spotlight + SotA Bonus Golden Moon Dial Auction Spotlight