Features > Tell Me About Your Character > Gary Lancaster

Your name: Gary Lancaster
Location: Southeastern Washington, USA
Age: 40, but rapidly closing on 41
Sex: Male

Family: My wife Jencina and two fabulous children, Rachel and Gawyne

Pets: A pair of tortoises, Digger, and Runner. The kids named them and the names are a literal interpretation of their most common activities.

Religion: Norse Heathen.

Political party/affiliation: None.

Education: BS in Anthropolgy with a concentration in Micronesian Prehistory and a specialization in Underwater Archaeology
Hobbies/Activities: I would put gaming down, but I guess that’s understood. Making things in my workshop, reading, online gaming (a recent addition and one I need to curtail a bit), hunting

Community service: Homeless shelters, animal rescue, etc.

Just to test the stereotype - Have you ever lived, or are you currently living, in your parents' basement? Yes, but I wasn’t out of high school yet and the rest of the house wasn’t built yet. My parents were living in a 20 ft camp trailer and I got the only available room.

What is your favorite way to spend a weekend? Gaming, being with my family. Fortunately, the two often go together.

What is the most frightening thing you've ever done? Telling my mother she was going
to be a grandmother. Not sure why really, but it was both frightening and difficult. She
was thrilled, but it still was tough

Which of your accomplishments are you the most happy with? Standing with
my wife through 5 years of medical school and 4 years of residency all the while
working nights to help support us and raising two kids (both were born in the first 3
years of med school).

What was your first word? Yes. My mother asked if I wanted butter on my toast
and I did. So I told her.

What is your favorite time of year, and why? Late spring/early summer, and late summer/early fall. Thunderstorm season. Thunderstorms are a powerful force for me in a number of ways.

What is your most prized physical possession? A teddy bear named Bearness (It’s short for ‘Bear Necessities). He will be 41 on Christmas this year.

Did you have any embarassing nicknames as a kid? Not as a kid, really, but in my first unit in the Army, a few guys called me Bucket, because I have a somewhat large head and was issued an enormous helmet. It looked like a tank turret on my head.

What was your favorite toy as a child? Bearness and toys I could build with or use my own imagination on.

What is your favorite section of the newspaper? The comics and the crossword puzzle

What are three things you can't live without? I’d like to say my family, but I’ve been married and divorced enough times to know that’s not technically true. It just wouldn’t be a good life. I guess there really aren’t three things I can’t live without but the three things I need most to make my life a good one would be my family, my health, and Bearness, of course!

What did you want to be when you grew up? An Air Force pilot. I desperately wanted to fly F-15s. Sadly, my eyes decide to fall aprt when I was in the 5th grade and they’re just a touch below the minimum requirements.

What is your favorite mode of transportation? There are two, really. Boats and planes. But boats are a little bothersome now as I’ve spent a lot of time studying shipwrecks!

You've just purchased a small island off the coast of any continent of your choosing, and you are preparing to start your own country there. What does your flag look like? An inverted silver hammer with an amber heart superimposed over it both superimposed on a dark green background.

Tell us about your favorite RPG character that you've ever played. His name was Garthin Silveraxe. Dwarf, warrior, priest, king, husband, and father. He was created
with my first D&D set (before it became Advanced) and subsequently modified to
fit the newer versions of the game. I played him (or used him as an NPC in the later
years) from 1978 to about 2000. He’s done it all, fought dragons, demons, minor
deities, etc. His greatest exploit was the time he stood on the walls of his
kingdom, defending it against a force of giants. I don’t recall how many he killed,
but wherever he went the bodies were piled as high as the wall he stood on. In
the end, he was snatched away by his most faithful companion, a gold dragon
named Ellragiad, before the giants could kill him.

What are your favorite RPGs? D&D in all it’s forms, although I didn’t really like the 2nd Edition stuff. The Palladium Megaverse. Aftermath! Spacemaster.

What was your first RPG session like? Christmas Day 1977. I had gotten my first D&D set and my cousin, who had been playing for a little while gamemastered for me. All I really remember is that I fireballed a giant tick that was attached to a companion.

What was your WORST RPG session like? It’s hard to say which was the worst, but anytime the player dynamic gets uncomfortable or rules lawyering gets in the way, the game loses it’s shine for me. Once, I had a group that spent a half-hour arguing about which character would glow the most if a Detect Magic spell was cast on them. It made my wife so mad that she shouted at them (because they ignored her repeated requests to move on).

Who is your all-time favorite person to game with? There are three. My wife, who is a phenomenal roleplayer (and I’m not just saying that because I taught her), My ex-wife Jess Hartley (same caveat), and my cousin, first GM, and brother in all things save genetics, Brian Strahan.

Do you have anything gaming-related to plug? Please see the Jess Hartley interview. She is a very good author and I urge everyone to look into her products. With a little luck she’ll be plugging my work someday.


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