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A land far away—a magical term that gives rise to mental images of exotic lands and exciting adventures. A land far away—the setting of countless fairy-tales and myriad bed-time stories. A land far away—that special place that we all go to when we need to escape the pressures and vicissitudes of life.

Welcome to A Land Far Away, a persistent world where the vast, wondrous Dungeons & Dragons™ universe takes on a life all of its own. A place where like-minded role-players of all races, cultures and creeds gather to delight in the wonder and joy of a thousand shared imaginations. A place where the raconteur holds others spellbound; a place where every decision has consequences; a place where the games unfold before your eyes. But don't just take our word for it - see what the professional reviewers from the Neverwinter Vault thought about us here.

Growth!

I'm pleased to say that ALFA has seen a rather remarkable growth rate of late.  A combination of advertising, community involvement and returning members has given us an impressive population bump, with numbers consistently in the teens and even twenties for The Silver Marches server and approaching double digits for the Baldur's Gate server. With the Western Heartlands in final testing and the Moonshaes building up nicely out of the ocean, the population explosion is happily coordinated with a sort of ALFAic manifest destiny. While the numbers can be expected to fluctuate, of course, in the end I foresee a rather happy vision of steady population across multiple servers...the ALFArican dream coming true.

Of course with growth comes change as we integrate both new horizons and new players into the ALFAbetized world of our playstyles and expectations. Anything, however, can be overcome by communication, and so I take this chance to tell everybody, new and old, GMT or wonky South Australian time, hin or human...."welcome." Our door is always open to anybody reading this who wants to join our RP heavy, slow progression, low magic Faerunian community. Drop us an app or pop into chat. My chat window is always open, too, if I'm around. Welcome to our little ALF(and dorf and horc)heim.

Citadel School of Persistent World Building

Just taking a moment to give three cheers outside of ALFA, to the folks over at the Citadel School of Persistent World Building. It does us good to remember that we're a part of the wider NWN2 community frequently, and I'm glad to lend a hand wherever we can to help out this praiseworthy effort to provide a repository for building and tech lore for NWN.

Check 'em out as they grow and provide more and more information to the community we share. We'll be sharing some of our tutorials and whatever they'll find useful. It's an effort I think is worth being part of. Thanks especially to brianmeyerdesign/Pain, for being the ambassador that reached a hand out to us.

Goods for Sale!

The gnomes of ALFA have been hard at work creating items for sale in a new dynamic store system ingame. Thanks to Audark and Danielmn for so many unique items of late. Now in a testing phase on ALFA Server 003: The Silver Marches, a script that randomly populates new and wonderful items may create one or two goodies at a time in stores all over the server. It doesn't fire at every store opening nor at the first store opening per store, but works on a random timer system. When it does fire, though, the items it provides are frequently of a higher value or more unique nature than the static contents of the store. (Although let's not go overboard -- ALFA is still a low-magic world.) It adds a nice variety to store contents, though, and an element of anticipation to every shopping trip! After the TSM test is over, we'll look at setting it up pan-server. Along with the custom skills, the travel and encounter system, custom languages and custom spells...you can look forwart to this as just another little goodie brought to you by the building and tech team of A Land Far Away.

Happy New Year!

Even though ALFA's birthday is traditionally April 15th, close to the anniversary of our NWN1 Live date, we've seen more New Year's Eve's than that. Before our April 17th, 2003  (not 15th, hoorah for choosing an official, more easily memorable date)  Live date,  ALFA had been around as a community since 1999. Imagine. 10 years. That's many auld lang syne under the bridge, and many auld acquaintances not forgot. 

For a little historical reading, here's an interview of then Lead Admin, Mandos, from August of 2002, and here's the announcement of our NWN1 Live date. I wish I could find the interview we were granted by Feargus Urquhart and Anthony Davis at E3 of 2006, just to give equal coverage to NWN2, but I fear my copy went with a hard drive crash.  If anybody has it, let me know and I'll put it up for download.  From NWN0 to NWN2, there've been many milestones, and many good times.

Here's to the next 10 years.

 

ALFA Reviewed at the Vault

I'd like to thank Beyond the Pale for his recent review of ALFA on Neverwinter Nights 2 Vault, entitled Three_Hour_Tour. It was a favorable and flattering review and I'm very pleased that we were able to communicate so much of what makes us ALFA to our gracious guest.

Thank you, BTP. I can see no better Christmas gift for this community.  We're glad you came by. And to all you community members, please post a comment to the review and/or to a post I made proudly,  advertising_it_on_the_Bioware_Forums.

Thank you, and Merry Christmas all.

 

State of the 'Toon'ion

For those of you grumbling about Americanisms, don't worry, I'm an equal opportunity punster. I just wanted to avoid any aggrandizing reference to 'queen's'  (or, for that matter, 'broads casting') and I haven't the gravitas to pull off a Mandela, a Ghandi or a Meir reference. 

As we approach the Drawing Down in the world we members of ALFA inhabit, it seems a good time to take stock. A glance at our demographics widget tells me that we had nearly 1200 unique visitors between November 15 to December 15. About 180 of those are regular community members while the other 1000 cared enough to stop by and check us out from some referring site or another. We are overwhelmingly populated by Yanks, with about half as many subjects of the Queen, a quarter as many Euros (I'll try to work in a PG13 Berlusconi reference next post for whomever our recurring Italian visitor is), and a dedicated handful of Israelis.  Oooooh, demographics. Sexy, eh? Maybe not. But they show depth of time and breadth of geography. Time and geography are the X and Y coordinates of ALFA, while Z is provided by you and me, the players of ALFA, the DM staff of ALFA and the PCs of ALFA.  Z is our community spirit...our zeitgeist.  Z, of course, has traditionally been the most difficult axis to quantify.

So what is our zeitgeist? The other night in chat, I was lurking while tooling, and I heard one of our members remark that RL makes ALFA more exciting. So many of us play ALFA as a break from grown-up responsibilities of job/family/world news. The discussion then turned to those jobs/families/world news and ended a brief time later with the observation that when this person had started ALFA he had been single and living at home. Now he was married and a home owner. Ponderous changes. In my nearly decade in ALFA, I have seen so many people come and go and then often come back again. I've congratulated graduating students, singles getting married, and the births of many children. And that's just the players. I've also lived along with the virtual lives of so many alter-egos-- ingame and in the fiction and IC forums. I've logged countless hours in chat, where the ingame and out of character worlds meet in a comfortable blend of old friends joshing each other on a shared passion, required information passed on to frame our fictional world and greeting and welcoming new prospects.

That's our Z.

To paraphrase somebody else who said it better:  "Above all, this country is our own. Nobody has to get up in the morning and worry what his neighbors think of him. Being a {D&D nerd} is no problem here." -- (Golda Meir, 5/11/78, International Herald Tribune)

 

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