Posts Tagged ‘Gray Isles’

I’ve known Rhicora a little while now, and so far have known her to be a nice, easy to get along with, and creative player and dungeon master on our server.  She’s been a great addition to our staff over at Gray Isles, and has helped add to the drama, tension, and great story telling that players have come to expect from us.  She’s a gamer, just like you or I, she just happens to be a lady as well, and she agreed to be this month’s featured gamer.

Q. What is your Gamertag?


Q. We are getting a lot of viewers outside the U.S. If you don’t mind everyone knowing, what country do you hail from?

The U.S. – but hello there, rest of the world!

Q. Gamer guild/clan affiliation?

It’s safe to say I am Gray Isles affiliated at the moment.

Q. Console or PC?

PC. I tend to like games that involve writing a story. When a console comes out with enough buttons to do that, let me know.

Q. When did you start gaming?

When I was pretty young (middle school, even), I played Riven, a point-and-click adventure in the Myst series. I’ve had a soft spot for that style of game ever since (please play Grim Fandango sometime, if you haven’t), though I’ve broadened my horizons since then.

Q. What got you started in the world of gaming?

Early point-and-click adventure games (Cyan, LucasArts). The first Neverwinter Nights. Tabletop RPGs, including 7th Sea, which I would very much recommend to someone looking to escape the hack-and-slash of DnD.

Q. Favorite game?

NWN2: hands down the best game for creative writers I’ve ever encountered. I love playing villains – there’s nothing like a well-crafted antagonist to bring a tale to life.

Q. Currently playing?

Mass Effect 3. I’ve been steadily playing my way through – it’s a long game, and I have been awaiting the end of Shepard’s story for a while. It’s fairly linear, but I like to think of it as a really enjoyable movie.

Q. Most anticipated future release?

I always look forward to BioWare games, so I’ll definitely keep my eye out for Dragon Age III. From what I’ve read, they’re learning from a couple missteps they made in DA2; the game will cover a greater geographic area and combat will focus more on clever planning. I approve!

Q. Build your own or off-the-shelf PC? Any reason for preference?

An off-the-shelf laptop … oh, I can hear the sighs of disappointment from the audience. I’m told real gamers love to void the warranty – but I’m content to be able to mail the broken thing in, have it fixed the next week, and get back to gaming.

Q. Favorite game type?

Micro-multiplayer online RPG. I wish there were more games in this genre (I kind of just made up the name now, but NWN2 players will know what I mean). The gaming world desperately needs it. Let’s take it back to the days of tabletop!

Q. Do you think there are any issues related to being a female gamer?

To be honest, people used to think it was a lot stranger than they do now. Today, I think female gamers face the same challenges guys do. Other people can be condescending, arrogant, or plain mean no matter who you are. But I’ve also met NWN2 players who are kind and understanding, and that can lead to lasting friendship. Really, it’s the same wide range of human interactions I see in the real world.

Treat your fellow players with the love they deserve, no matter who they are. Remember that it’s okay if they don’t agree with you on everything – as long as you’re respectful to others, they’ll usually pay it back. I promise I will!

Well, there you have it folks.  I’d like to thank Rhicora for honoring us with being this month’s gamer lady.  We’re going to need your help here at Frags and Beer soon.  I’m running out of friends and acquaintances to ask to be in this feature.  If anyone knows a female gamer that deserves the spotlight, let us know.  Send me an email at, and give me a brief rundown of why they should be in our monthly feature.  Drop us her email or some sort of contact so we can interview her and get her featured here at Frags and Beer.  Keep gaming, and have fun.  Until next time!

Our lady of June is another player from the NWN2 server I help out with.  I’ve known Andrea for a couple years now I guess, since the previous server I played on.  Her RP has always been interesting and she’s always been a fun player to share the game with.  She’s since come over to Gray Isles as a DM, helping us create good story for all the players that come visit.  She declined to post a picture as well, but that’s cool.  I’m happy, and proud, to present your gamer lady for June.

Q. What is your Gamertag?

Hillshellios. And no it doesn’t have any special meaning, as people often ask me.  Its rather a collection of random syllables i came up with some years ago and been sticking too ever since and using as my tag.

Q. We are getting a lot of viewers outside the U.S.  If you don’t mind everyone knowing, what country do you hail from?


Q. Gamer guild/clan affiliation?

My main Character is closely associated with Myth Drannor on DLB since starting playing on that server over a year ago.
On GI my Characters don’t have any guild affiliation yet.

Q. Console or PC?

Definitely PC, though i enjoy plain Wii from time to time with some friends.

Q. When did you start gaming?

I started with PnP RPG games when i was 13.  Which was rather unusual for girl at that age.
Started with Computer games even earlier as our father bought us a, by then, highly modern Commodore C64, which we used to play games like Gianna Sisters.

Q. What got you started in the world of gaming?

My brother played RPG with his friend and got me curious. I soon started playing with my own friends.  I’ve been DMing since age 14

Q. Favorite game?

I started with AD&D switched quite late to D&D3.5 (I was always a very conservative DM and didn’t like the 3E at first)
Now i am staunch defender of the 3.5 E as i really hate the 4E and what they did to my favorite world the Forgotten realms.
I agreed to play-test the 5E with some friends now and hoping it works better than the previous edition (but won’t be able to say more to signed agreements of course.).
Besides PnP my favorite computer game is of course NWN2 I also loved Baldur’s Gate especially the second part.
Also enjoyed playing the Knights of the old Republic series.

Q. Currently playing?


Q. Most anticipated future release?

None really.. maybe the 5E, crossing my fingers all will be better.

Q. Build your own or off-the-shelf PC? Any reason for preference?

Q. Favorite game type?

RPG! PnP and computer.

Q. Do you think there are any issues related to being a female gamer?

At first most gamers think i am male because my tag doesn’t identify me clearly as female.. even though I only play female characters.  After some time they usually find out my gender.  Interestingly enough I’ve noticed different treatment from male players who know my real sex.  As a whole I got mostly positive reactions.

Well, there you have it folks.  Another great gamer out there that happens to be female, further casting aside the myth that they don’t exist, and showing they are just like any other gamer.  Thanks Rachael, for giving us such great responses.  If anyone knows a female gamer that deserves the spotlight, let us know.  Send me an email at, and give me a brief rundown of why they should be in our monthly feature.  Drop us her email or some sort of contact so we can interview her and get her featured here at Frags and Beer.  Keep gaming, and have fun.  Until next time!

Oi lubber, watch that mud. Wouldn’t wanna git them fancy boots dirty eh? What brings ye out ta Ol’ Misty anyway? Ye some kinda treasure hunter, or fool adventurer? Well, if yer here to throw yer life away fer a bit o’ gold, there’s somat ye oughta know.  This here town, Freeport, this is the only place where yer almost safe. If’n ye stay upwind of The Salty Tap that is. Ol’ Cap’n Smythe’s place ain’t healthy fer most folks. Ye should find ye some work with the companies. Ye got them snooty sods from Waterdeep, Tallstaff and Jameson. Down the road from them ye can sign on with the Luskan firm, but if’n I were to go lookin fer coin, I’d sign on with that group from Amn. That Isabelle can give me orders any day.
If yer thinkin’ to leave Freeport, on some wild goose chase, ye better stock up on bandages and maybe hire someone to cart yer hind end back to town. Out there, the Island’s full o’ things that just wanna eat ya. If’n the wildlife don’ getcha, the orcs will, or them black skinned elves. Ya, we got drow here, but listen here lubber, ye better get some sense if ye go lookin’ fer them. Some of them drow are protected by then woodsy elves. Calls them moon prancers or some such. If ye go after one of them, ye might as well have a good ol’ pine box waitn’ cause them woodsy elves’ll fill yer arse full of arrows.
That’s all just in the woods. If’n ye are thinkin’ of headin’ toward the mountain, ye’ll hafta get through the orcs. They hold the ol’ fort north of here, and got themselves lots of caves and such up on the cliffs. Course, inside the mountain is the dwarves. They’ll deal with ye, but ye better not try and cheat them. They don’t take kindly to that kinda foolishness. It’s yer life lubber, if ye wanna die on this island I’m sure ye’ll get a right fine burial in the sea. Me? I’m headed over to Smythe’s place for a pint and the fights. I hear their gonna throw a pair of gobbos in the cage with a bear. My coin’s on the bear.

These words greet newcomers to the Island of Aldmyst, also known as The Gray Isles, a NWN2 persistant world a group of us decided to start nearly a year ago.  Getting close to the year mark is what spurred this little plug/review, but also I think our server is getting to a point in its life where we are ready for more players to bring their unique and fantastic stories to life.  Whether you are new to Neverwinter Nights 2, or a veteran looking to get back into the game, this server could be a good fit for you.

Back when we started this project, some of us were desperately looking for a server that offered a good mix of roleplay, story, and dedication to the game we all love.  Sadly we could not find a good fit.  They were either set in worlds we weren’t interested in, action servers masquerading as roleplay servers, or just plain awful places to play.  Don’t get me wrong, there are many good servers out there, that cater to specific types of players, they just weren’t a good fit for us.  After talking about it for some time, joking about it, and finally saying ‘what if’, we decided to buckle down and see if we could actually get this thing off the ground.

I guess first, I should give a little basic information to those who aren’t familiar with some of the terms above.  If you aren’t a NWN2 player, or even a Dungeons and Dragons player you might look at this post and wonder what the heck I’m talking about.  Well, first off Neverwinter Nights 2 is a computer RPG based in the world of Forgotten Realms, a Dungeons and Dragons setting (like a backdrop world for a game.)  A persistant world is an online server where players can go, roleplay, and act out the stories of their characters along with other players.  It’s sort of like getting together to play Dungeons and Dragons with your friends, but instead of going to someone’s house and sitting around a table, you log onto your computer and see the world, and the actions, right there on your screen.

We believe, what makes us different, as a persistant world, is our philosophy, and our dedication to meeting it.  We started with a team of 6 founders, head admins to take on the key roles in server development and make the decisions for the server that would effect everything.  This is the first thing that makes us different.  Most servers have one or two admins, and sometimes that can lead to a number of issues related to favortism, or biased decisions.  We wanted a team of admins that could keep each other in check, make sure that decisions that effect the server and players aren’t based on any bias, and we also believe it has helped us develop a much more vibrant and in-depth environment for our players.  Our core staff is now down to 4 for one reason or another, but the premise is the same.

Another thing that makes us different is our adherance to the heart of the game we love and the lore that goes along with it.  Myself, being an avid reader, writer, and history buff, I have always been drawn to the lore that goes along with any DnD world.  Forgotten Realms has some of the most extensive lore of any of the worlds, and because of that it leads to contradictions, questions, misconceptions, and the like.  What many servers are lacking, and what we believe leads to a lot of issues, is a dedicated loremaster.  Someone to filter the lore through, to organize it, and to make final decisions on what is accurate and what is not.  It helps to keep down arguments between players and staff, and generally offers that broad and detailed lore so that players can create even more elaborate and detailed stories.

We have also dedicated ourselves to the spirit of the game this world is based on.  Our first measuring stick is “Is it PnP (pen and paper)?”  Basically, does the tabletop game do it, or is it made up as part of NWN2.  In every case, if we can make something closer to the tabletop game, we will.  There are limitations, but we’ve done a lot of edits, and customization to bring NWN2 on our server more in line with DnD.  Some servers have tried this, but many times I’ve seen it fail in very obvious ways, when they deviate from the dedication to the game in order to achieve a false sense of balance.  It’s sadly, a myth, that a lot of non-tabletop players have.  Staff on many servers have never even played DnD, but come from computer game backgrounds, where things are balanced.  Dungeons and Dragons is not a balanced game, and trying to force it to be balanced only leads to problems.  We have accepted that the game is not balanced, and instead of spending our time trying to fix that, we have decided our time is better spent making the game fun, and making RP easier and more rewarding.

Those are some of the things that make us different, but what makes Aldmyst different?  What sets it apart from all the other Forgotten Realms servers out there?  When we first got together we talked about a custom world with our own story and lore.  Only drawback to that is it’s harder to get people excited about something they have never heard of.  Custom servers struggle to gain and keep players when they start out, and it’s easier on the writing staff if they don’t have to create 100% of the world out of whole cloth.  We also wanted the server to feel real.  By design a NWN2 server must be limited in size, as far as areas.  Instead of building our world and ringing it with ‘end of the world’ maps, we wanted to make it a frontier setting on an island.  Give a logical limit that represents the real life limit of the server.  As we talked about this we decided, why not both?  So, we came up with Aldmyst.  An island, in the Forgotten Realms, that isn’t actually part of any published lore.  We can present the players with custom content and story that is original, that they haven’t seen anywhere else, against a backdrop of a diverse world that everyone is familiar with.

So, that’s my little review of the server project we have going on over at Gray Isles.  If you are a role player without a table, or someone looking for an RP experience that is more involved, interactive and in depth than some MMOs, come check us out.  If I’m not mistaken you can get NWN2 pretty cheap on Steam.

This month’s lady gamer has declined a photo, which is fine by us.  I met Rachael when we started our server project at Gray Isles, and she has been an outstanding player and member of our community.  Sadly due to my own busy schedule and off play times, I haven’t gotten to RP with her as much as I would like, but what I have been able to experience has been good.  She’s brought a couple of players to our server, and in my opinion, been a contributing factor in our success so far.  So, without further ado, ladies and gents, here is May’s gamer lady of the month.

Q. What is your Gamertag?

In NWN1, I have gone by Nakamura Sakura quite a bit in the past. In NWN2, I go by Maiden of Loss. I have played NWN1 for about five years and NWN2 for maybe about six months.

Q. Gamer guild/clan affiliation?

Oh, jeez. I would say the most recent guild/clan affiliation that my character has gotten into is the FCA on Grey Isles and maybe soon, Clan Granitefist. She’s also been in a mercenary guild that was previously run by players.

Q. Console or PC?

PC. My laptop is the only thing I have to play games on believe it or not. I have a Wii too but it doesn’t get used very often. I’m usually too plastered to the computer screen or reading on my Kindle.

Q. When did you start gaming?

If you mean RPG’s? I started gaming around the age of fourteen in that case. I haven’t been playing D&D all that long, honestly. In case of more action-type games (Stronghold, Rome: Total War, Age of Mythology just to name a few) I would say around the age of thirteen.

Q. What got you started in the world of gaming?

In terms of NWN1 (and eventually NWN2) I actually got introduced to it during my freshman year of high school. A friend installed the game on my PC for me to try out and I got pretty hooked in the matter of about a week or so. If it weren’t for him, I honestly likely would have never discovered the NWN world. In terms of other games, I’ve never been too far away from a PC so that pretty much led to my early interest in gaming. I love NWN because it allows you to step in and tell your own story. I have been fortunate enough to even discover my love for DMing and being a player both. The NWN1 community is amazing and even though the game is older, I have never met a better bunch of players. My time in NWN2 has been short so far but so far, I’ve enjoyed the experience very much.

Q. Favorite game?

As far as PC goes, NWN1 and NWN2 hands down. I would say following that would be Sims 3, Age of Mythology, Skyrim (although I need to play more of that yet) and numerous others.

Q. Currently playing?

On my PC? Currently NWN2. Plan on playing more Skyrim, though. I have also thought about reinstalling NWN1.

Q. Most anticipated future release?

Guild Wars 2! The graphics and storyline look positively gorgeous to me. I was looking forward to Neverwinter (4th Edition) but then; they turned the whole thing into a MMO. That was a complete epic fail on Cryptic’s part. I don’t like 4E myself (at all) but considering what the NWN1/2 community has done with the games in the past, I wouldn’t be surprised if the 4E elements could be taken out and eventually altered. I mean, for NWN we have PRC (in both games) and even the Community Expansion Pack for NWN1. All that work really has ended in some amazing results that just add to both games, in my opinion.

Q. Build your own or off-the-shelf PC? Any reason for preference?

Off-the-shelf laptop! Poor off-the-shelf PC’s seem to die in my hands within a matter of two years. When I was younger, I went through about four PC’s in about ten years, I think. This laptop so far has lasted for two years and is doing very well despite those previous troubles of mine. I honestly will never go back to PC again. I think laptops are the way to go; at least, for me.

Q. Favorite game type?

RPG. I enjoy an action game here and there and sometimes Sims 3 but for the most part, I usually am in NWN2. I loved my years of playing NWN1. I don’t regret a minute of it. I would say my favourite PW that I have ever played on (and made me forever addicted to the game) was Legacy of Netheril in NWN1. It was the first server I played on. The players and DM’s were wonderfully creative. My second favourite had to be Deepingdale and the Moonsea in NWN1. There I was able to discover my love for DMing.

Q. Do you think there are any issues related to being a female?

It really, really depends on where you go, I think. Have I had issues before with it? Sure. But, that’s bound to happen sometimes in multiplayer games. I would say that the NWN1 and NWN2 player bases are usually pretty good when it comes to gender and respect. I have gotten one or two odd reactions when players discover my gender but do I let it stop me from playing the game, relaxing and having fun? Hell no. I would say the best advice to other fellow gamer ladies would be to just laugh and have fun with it when you get an “odd” reaction. Then, shake it off and continue playing.

Well, there you have it folks.  Another great gamer out there that happens to be female, further casting aside the myth that they don’t exist, and showing they are just like any other gamer.  Thanks Rachael, for giving us such great responses.  If anyone knows a female gamer that deserves the spotlight, let us know.  Send me an email at, and give me a brief rundown of why they should be in our monthly feature.  Drop us her email or some sort of contact so we can interview her and get her featured here at Frags and Beer.  Keep gaming, and have fun.  Until next time!

I first met Rachelle on a NWN2 server called The Frontier Reborn, though I didn’t know it at the time.  I never talked to players much outside the game back then.  We ran into each other again on another NWN2 server called Dalelands Beyond.  We roleplayed a bit there but our characters rarely had reason to cross paths.  It wasn’t until she came to be a developer, builder, and player on our own NWN2 server that I got to know this wonderful woman, gamer, and friend.  I know, I’m late with this, totally my fault, I’m a slacker.  So, without further ado, I give you April’s gamer lady of the month, Rachelle.

Q.  What is your Gamertag?

The two I’m known most by are SilverLining and FoundersFilly.

Q.  Gamer guild/clan affiliation?

I recently started a mage guild on Gray Isles (The Tower of Brelyan), named after a Dragonlance style conclave I ran on AOL’s Rhydin many years ago.

Q.  Console or PC? 

Any reason for preference? PC.  If it’s not PNP (Pen and Paper) then it’s NWN2 for me, so PC’s it for me!

Q.  When did you start gaming?

Well, if you’re asking about video games, back when PacMan and DigDug first came out, or there around.  I had the very first Atari Console!  Wow.  I look back on that now and all I can do is wish that I’d have had the good sense to keep it!  Ah well.  We all know what they say about hindsight!  If we’re talking RPGs and the like, I began playing D&D when I was 14, though I never really got serious or committed to playing until my early 20’s.  By the time I was in my early 30’s, I was working for the industry, and have remained an avid gamer ever since..

Q.  What got you started in the world of gaming?

I was 14 and the year was 1983.  The cartoon Dungeons and Dragons had -just- come out (and the news had just begun to report kids acting out D&D in real life and getting killed, hurt or otherwise managing to get themselves in trouble.  I guess the first thing that popped into my mind was “What’s the big deal, isn’t it just a dice game?”, followed by “I want to try it just b/c everyone’s talking about it.”  You know, a typical kid’s line of thought.  So, I tried it and from there I was hooked!  Have been playing ever since!  (It’s now 28 years later!)

Q.  Favorite game?

Hmm.. I guess that depends on the type.

  • Favorite Video Game: NWN2
  •  Favorite Puzzle Game: Stuck between Bejeweled and Tetris
  •  Favorite Phone App Game: Any by Storm8 (Storm8 id: NWN2 Gal)
  • Favorite Card Game: Anoch’s Mystick (Which I play tested back in 2000 for Anoch)
  • Favorite PNP Game: D&D E3.5 or Pathfinder
  • Children’s game (I play with my son): Wizard 101

Q.  Currently playing?

Pathfinder and NWN2.  Though to be honest, I prefer NWN2 because of the depth of role play involved.  I really do prefer Role play to Roll play.

Q.  Most anticipated future release?

Dungeons and Dragons 5.0, which has only recently been announced as being in the works and is claimed to have ‘the best from all the D&D editions put into one.’  I’m really curious to see where they go with this.  Sadly, with Monte Cook having been quoted as saying 5E can be compared to resurrecting and beating a dead horse.. I have my concerns.  Not to mention that 4.0 was such a huge failure in my eyes, I’m almost tempted to just stay with Pathfinder… 4.0 really was tailored to those in RPGA, who can be called ‘transient role players’.  I really hope that’s not the case with 5.0.

Q.  Build your own or off-the-shelf PC?  Any reason for preference?

Off the shelf!  Why?  All I really use my PC for is email and NWN2 (Playing and building).  I don’t really need anything fancier than this!

Q.  Favorite game type?

Now and always, RPGs. (Of which I’ve played too many to list!)

Q.  Do you think there are any issues related to being a female gamer, bias, unwanted attention, etc?

I’ve had a few instances of honestly and truly ‘unwanted attention’.  I’ve also had a couple of instances where what I can only refer to as ‘strange behavior and/or comments’ by others have put me off to rp with them, due to my being female.  But for the most part everyone’s been great.  I’ve made a lot of really amazing friends out here.. It always makes me smile when someone tells me they think it’s kinda cool that I’m a gamer/nerd chick!  I still remember being teased for it at times when I was younger!

Q.  You mention a history in the gaming industry, what can you tell our readers about that?

Well.. It started when we moved to Las Vegas (Green Valley) back in 1999.  I had recently gone to my first convention (Origins in Ohio) and really fell in love with the whole convention thing.. I decided to start poking around to find out what gaming cons were held in Vegas.  I figured Vegas had to have SOMETHING.. It did, but it turned out it was the Gama Convention.  Gama is not a Convention the general population has access to.  It’s the “Industry’s” convention.  Everyone from the publishers, distributors, Authors, Illustrators, all the way down the line to the gaming stores.. A little frustrated that we had this HUGE convention I couldn’t buy my way into, I contacted the people that put GamaCon on, and did a little research.  For the next six years I went from a Volunteer title to a Sr. Volunteer.
My Con duties included helping check people in and helping in whatever capacity I was needed, helping to set up the presentations, and so on..
While working for them I was given many opportunities I would never have otherwise had.. I play tested Mystik for Anoch, edited for Children of the Sun and met some of the most amazing people in the industry..

I really think leaving leaving GAMA behind when we left the Vegas area was the hardest part of the move for me.. But I’ve taken with me a lot of amazing memories that are really close to my heart.

Well, there you have it ladies and gents, your lady for April.  If you know a gamer lady you’d like to have featured here email me at, with a brief description of why they should be featured (it’s not that hard to get in.)  Look for more to come in the future folks.