Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Call for Participants for a Survey on Bards and Storytellers in Role-Playing Games!

Call to gamers in the tabletop role-playing field: 
I am looking for participants for a research project on Bards and other storyteller-type characters! My name is Csenge Zalka, and I am currently a PhD student at Bowling Green State University. I am conducting a research project on how people play storyteller-type characters, and what they like or dislike about them.

If you have ever played a storyteller-type character (Bard, Eshu, Gaillard, Trubadour, Fatemaker, Lore-keeper, etc.), and you would be willing to participate in the project by filling out a short (15-20 minutes) online survey, please follow the link below! You have to be at least 18 years old to participate. 
Thank you!

If you want to fill out the survey, follow this link!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

MythOff Bowling Green: Newbies take the cake!

We had Bowling Green's (and, in fact, Ohio's) second ever MythOff event tonight!
And we saw that it was fun.

The venue was brand new: We have moved to Café Havana, the home of the Bowling Green Open Mic Night, and were greeted with the roaring sound of delicious fresh-made smoothies. Thus, MythOff was preceded by Smoothie Hour, until everyone had ordered all the heavenly beverages of their heart's desire, and settled down for the tales.
Our host, once again, was Tom (also, incidentally, the host of Open Mic), and he carried us with eloquence and empathy through the evening.
The lineup was as follows:

Round One: Giants!
In the Norse corner, Jamie opened the night with the tale of Thor's Jounrey to Utgard. In the Ossetian corner, bringing the Nart sagas to MythOff for a historic first time, was yours truly with the story of Soslan and the Giant's Skull (this tale, in which the Nart heroes excavate, reassemble and resurrect a giant from his skeleton, has a soft spot in my archaeologist heart).
The prize was the Stallion of Giants, a "full-sized horse" that was supposed to make you feel like a giant yourself (a tiny, tiny horse in a tiny, tiny box, obviously). It was awarded to the tale that sounded the most sexually charged when taken out of context (Tom's take on the questionable wording we both used describing giant parts and giant sounds). Jamie, a first-time MythOff participant, carried the steed home to his feasting hall.

Round Two: Love and War
This round pitted two first time MythOff tellers against each other with thundering success. They did not only brave the stage and the stormy seas of myth, but they also battled the demons of the blender and the steaming machine, masterfully subduing them and incorporating them into their tales. In the Irish corner was Flannery, an Open Mic veteran with a passion for Irish stories, who delivered the most upbeat version of Deirdre of the Sorrows that I have ever heard, until she brought it to a stunning and shockingly deep ending. In the Russian corner competed Zack, our SCA bardic champion, with the tale of Ilya Muromets and the Magic Sword, which was as unknown as it was spellbinding.
The prize for the round was the Arrow of Love and Hate, an obsidian arrowhead fashioned into a necklace. It was awarded for the story that reflected most the nature of the storyteller performing it. It was awarded to Flannery, for her feminine and thoughtful take on Deirdre.

Round Three: Resurrection
This round was, sadly and tragically, cut short because one of our storytellers, Dan, had to leave to take care of an emergency. The other teller, Clarke, a second time MythOff participant, did take the stage though, with a gruesome yet colorful Aztec myth about the origins of the human sacrifice.
The prize for the round was the Globe of Resurrection, a shining bouncy ball symbolizing the ability to bounce back from the worst. It was awarded to the storyteller who seemed to be the most present in his tale. The vote unanimously went to Clarke on that one.

In the audience, we had a shifting number (around 30) of rapt listeners who followed us into the world of myth and awarded the tales with applause and appreciation.

All in all, it was an epic night. And a really nice strawberry banana smoothie.