Features > Tell Me About Your Character > Patrick Pricken

Name: Patrick Pricken, a.k.a. Berandor
Location: Germany, near Dusseldorf
Age: 28
Sex: (refraining from obvious joke) male

Family: I’ve still got an extended family. My father is married for the third time, I’ve got a half-brother and a stepsister, three uncles, three cousins, one aunt. One of my grandfathers is still alive, and both of my grandmothers. One of them is 91 years old, and still going strong. Recently, she has started to read the Lord of the Rings, and she likes it. Sadly, my mothers boyfriend died a short time ago.

I consider myself a spiritual person and someone with strong morals. I don’t particularly like organized religion, but I can understand what people are looking for and finding there.

Political party/affiliation: I am a fairly left-leaning liberal, and I am very interested in politics. I use my blog to comment regularly on political developments.

Just to test the stereotype - Have you ever lived, or are you currently living, in your parents' basement? Yes, I have. For a very short time, I lived in a depressing and dark hole beneath my father’s house. It was a good way to get me out into my own flat, and I don’t really want to go back. Ugh.

What is your favorite way to spend a weekend? I use the Saturday morning to buy groceries and clean the apartment. In the afternoon, our group meets to have a D&D session; we usually game from 3 pm to 11 pm. When I come home, I start to write an entry for the Story Hour. Sunday morning, I continue writing. Around noon, I sit down with the book I’m currently reading. In the afternoon, I meet with friends and we play board games (from 3 pm to 8 pm). Afterwards, I head to a pub and have a beer or go to the movies. Unfortunately, I often have to spread these activities out over several weekends.

What is the most frightening thing you've ever done? I’m easily frightened, so I can’t tell you a good story here. Probably watching “Arachnophobia” alone, at night, and maybe descending a bell tower via the stairs (I’m afraid of heights).

Which of your accomplishments are you the most happy with? Having published two short stories in real, non-vanity press books. Having gone back to university and actually being succesful this (third) time around. Giving the First man’s speech at a friend’s wedding, and giving the graduation day speech in my school.

What was your first word? Supercallifragilisticexpialodocus.

What is your favorite word? I can’t even decide on my ten favorite words; I love language, and I love words.

How many languages do you speak? 2 really good, and 2 really bad.
German, English, French and Japanese. I’m not telling which is which, but
I will tell you I would really like to learn and speak Chinese, Arabian,
Spanish, or all three.

What is your favorite time of year, and why? Winter, if it’s cold and
dry. Autumn, if it’s wet and windy. Summer, if it’s not too hot or humid.
Spring, if it’s sunny and warm.

What is your most prized physical possession? My laptop. I
love it. After sitting on my desk for about a year, I really started to get
into writing outdoors. I’ve also got a small notebook (the archaic kind)
which I use to make notes of all kinds and could be considered an
extension for my laptop, together with my old and trusty fountain pen.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I’d be more spontaneous. I always have to be talked into doing things ad hoc. When I give in, I usually have a very good time, but next time I hesitate again.

Did you have any embarassing nicknames as a kid? Patzi, which was what my grandma called me. A friend of mine heard it, and next day in school everybody called me that. Later on, I was in my superhero phase, and the whole class called me “Superprick” (remember that “prick” is not a German word), which became somewhat embarassing as we participated in a school exchange program with a school in Portland. Last, my playing basketball and my emphasis on technique and not physical presence despite my lumbering self led to me being called “Pat the Cat”.

What makes you cry? Movies and books. Poignant scenes have to carry a certain pathos for me; William Wallace’s death in “Braveheart”, Storm Brightblade’s last stand in the Dragonlance series – that’s my kind of stuff. On the other hand, documentaries often turn my stomach but keep my tears in check; crying would be too cheap then.

What are three things you can't live without? 1. Books. I simply have to read, and every day at that. Books show you different countries, different worlds, and different people. 2. Writing material. Whether a typewriter, a PC, or some sheets of paper and a pen; just as I need to read, I also need to write to survive. 3. People. Whether people I like, or those I dislike. What’s the point of living if you can’t talk to someone else? I need people to write books for me, I need people to play RPGs with me, I need people to talk politics with me, to use as heroes or antagonists in my stories, to discuss movies…

Tell us about your favorite RPG character that you've ever played. This might get longish. As with kisses, the first character is someone you never forget, and I took my nome de guerre from him. But I’ll tell you about my recent favorite character instead.

It was a wizard, an elvish wizard at that. His name was Aravilar Dämmerglanz (Glimmerdusk). He was a fairly dark and borderline psychopathic character. It was a character for D&D 3.0. His greatest exploit was the liberation of Daggerdale in the Forgotten Realms. First, as the rebel army was readying themselves for the attack, he held an emotional speech with the grand theme “hate is good”, rolling a 19 on his diplomacy check and getting a score of 35. I had written the speech beforehand, and afterwards a small cadre of dwarves swore fealty to me (sort of).

However, that was one of the few times I had good luck with the dice. As the rebels were fighting in the streets, our group snuck into the castle to confront the overlord. We came to a small room. The side walls had three holes each in them, just large enough for the arrows that poked through. In the room were two hungry, but otherwise normal dogs on a short leash. Aravilar drank a potion of “Protectiom from Arrows”, and I described emphatically how he stepped into the room, arms spread outwards, awaiting the arrows to fly at him and fail to harm him. However, there were no archers manning the bows. The dogs, on the other hand, attacked, both hitting with their bite attacks – one even critically. They nearly dropped my wizard in the first round.

Later, the group’s ranger decided to adopt the dogs and keep them close to me. He claimed he’d grown fond of them, and my character spent quite some time planning their demise (both the dogs’ and the ranger’s). The group went to Ravenloft, and as they became more and more “typically good”, I simply retired the character, which I regret to this day, especially after he was saved from certain death by the noble sacrifice of his undead hand.

What are your favorite RPGs?
My favorite systems are the Trinity version
of the storyteller system from White Wolf (though I hear the new WoD is an
improvement), and Trinity itself as a setting. Also, the Tri-Stat system from
Guardians of Order (the new version as seen in A Game of Thrones), and a
distant number three is D&D. I like games set today, followed by sci-fi and
medieval fantasy games. I tend to prefer low-magic settings where magic
may be scarce, but nevertheless powerful. I currently play D&D; I DM the
Shackled City Adventure Path, set in the Forgotten Realms.

What was your first RPG session like? We played D&D at a friend’s house. I played a cleric of the god of good luck (Tymora) in the Realms. It was a dungeon crawl, and we had a lot of fun. I nearly fell from a bridge but used Tymora’s gift to reroll and make it. I was hooked.

What was your WORST RPG session like? What made it so bad? Let me begin with the second question. What made it bad? It was a disharmonic group, and an abysmal DM that is responsible for almost all of my top 20 worst sessions. There was the one when we played for seven hours only to get 0 xp, or the one battle where me and a friend were so bored we actually rolled dice to see who would get consecutive 1,2,3,4,5,6 first, and then I had my cleric walk right into the center of a 50,000 undead strong army and kill the head honcho cleric. But the worst session included spots of quicksand measuring 10x10x10 miles (totally square), plants where you had to make three separate skill checks (in AD&D) at a –6 penalty or take damage from their thorns, and flying monsters that could be killed by shoving them off a balcony and see them dropping to their deaths. My character was petrified, and when an actual deity appeared to make him whole again, I simply stood up and left.

Who is your all-time favorite person to game with? That’s a very, very tough question. My favorite DM would be Matthias Schoessler, even though we’ve since had a falling out, I still think him to be the best DM I gamed with, from a purely professional perspective (personal perspective differs). Favorite players would be a tie between three of them. Michael Mertens for always coming up with something for his character to do, thereby really driving the story and the adventure. Oliver Mauermann for playing a character, and trying to play that character as true as possible. And finally, Nils Hoffmann for always trusting the DM, and for being ready to go where the adventure takes him, as well as having an open mind and a casual attitude regarding the rules.

Do you have anything gaming-related to plug? I have a German Story Hour at DnD-Gate.de. It’s a fairly epical story, and I try to make it as novelly as I can. Here’s the current link (it’s the fifth chapter): http://forum.dnd-gate.de/viewtopic.php?t=9789


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