Features > Tell Me About Your Character > Ryan O'Grady

Your name: Ryan O'Grady
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Age: 24
Sex: Male

Family: I have a brother that is my elder by seven years, and two parents. My brother is married and has a kid. I am not. I'm a gamer, remember? I'm not allowed to date. It's in the rules somewhere.

Religion: Devout atheist. Would you care to learn more?

Education: I went to a very small school. There were around 30 kids in my graduating class. There were 10 in the year before us. There weren't many opportunities to really shine. I did what I could and ended up attending the University of Michigan. They decided I didn't need a scholarship, so my parents and I ended up footing the bill.

I finished college in 3 years, thanks to a number of dual-enrollment credits which I transferred in. The most remarkable part of my college career was that I only went to class about 10% of the time. I was too busy doing other things. This irritated the professors to no end, but what can you do?

I ended up with a degree in Computer Science Engineering. This is a fancy way of saying "Programming".

Hobbies/Activities: I am very much into photography. I can say without a doubt that I spend more time and money doing photography than gaming. The latter is easy,
the former takes some effort. I tend to favor macro photography, as it allows
you to show people something commonplace using a whole new perspective.

I also spend some time doing creative writing. But then, what gamer

What is your favorite way to spend a weekend? I'm rather fond of gaming.
I usually have a game on both Friday and Saturday. Sunday is my day to unwind
and take care of chores.

Just to test the stereotype - Have you ever lived, or are you currently living, in your parents' basement?
I can honestly say that I never lived in my parents' basement. My brother did for some time, but I've always been strictly ground-floor. Now, my parents live several hours away, so unless I plan on quitting my job and moving home it isn't likely to happen any time soon.

Which of your accomplishments are you the most happy with? I'm an Eagle Scout. This usually surprises people, which I think speaks volumes about me. People are always amazed that *I* could be associated with a class of people that are considered honest, altruistic, and selfless. Hmm…

What is your favorite word? What an odd question. This is one of those questions where I've never really thought about it, but now that you mention I probably do favor certain words. If I had to pick a favorite, right now it would be "obfuscate". It's fun to say and fun to do!

What is your favorite time of year, and why? I like Spring and Fall. It's not cold, it's not too hot. There's no snow and various interesting things are happening to nature. Either things are blooming or things are turning gold and red and orange. Either way you swing it, it's pretty.

What is your most prized physical possession? My camera. It's the only thing that I hesitate to loan to people, for fear of what they might do to it.

What was your favorite toy as a child? Legos, hands down. I could spend hours playing with those. The best part was when they get left lying around and someone stepped on one. Or was that the worst part? When I got older, I graduated to Erector Sets, which my dad had saved for me.

What is your favorite section of the newspaper? The comics, of course. But the whole newspaper thing seems a bit outdated. I haven't read an actual dead-tree copy of a newspaper in several years. Now I read my comics online (Sluggy Freelance being my favorite) and get my news direct from the BBC site.

If you could have one superpower which power would you pick? I'd choose to be able to turn invisible. The sheer trouble I could cause would be well worth it. Plus, think of the profit potential!

What did you want to be when you grew up? It depends on when you asked me. When I was young (say, around 8) I thought it was entirely reasonable that I wanted to be a farmer/racecar driver. By age 10, I was sure I wanted to be a geologist. At age 15, I wanted to be a writer. By age 24, I'm pretty sure I want to be an engineer. Ask me again in 10 years and I'll have a different answer.

If you could pick any other time period to live in, which would it be, and why? The past. Then I would know what is going to happen in order to benefit from it.

What is the one thing you want to do before you die? Make a lasting impact on the world. I'll turn to super-villainy if I have to.

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? It would be my family coat of arms and motto. My family actually has a family coat of arms. It is three griffons on a shield. Our motto is "Vulneratus non victus". It means "Wounded, not conquered".

Tell us about your favorite RPG character that you've ever
My favorite character so far is actually my first. I haven't
truly been gaming for that long. My first character was a Tiefling
rogue in a 3rd edition Forgotten Realms game. He actively fought
his evil tendencies, leading to an odd code of conduct which he
enforced on himself. In the end though, after having died to
save another party member, only to be brought back through
much effort, he turned his back on the party and what he
deemed to be a hopeless endeavor.

What are your favorite RPGs? I really love Exalted. I think its focus on the players doing cool things leads to a fun game with a fun dynamic. The setting allows for anything. My biggest complaint is the relative bulk of the system.

On the flip side, I heavily extol the virtues of the Unisystem. I think it's a fast, fun system that really fades into the background.

What was your first RPG session like? My very first session was when a friend's cousin ran a module for us when we were around 12. I think my character died about 15 minutes in when he touched some orb that inexplicably disintegrated you if you touched it. Don't ask, I don't know.

What was your WORST RPG session like? I seem to have skipped ahead a bit with my previous answer. So… yeah, my first RPG session was also my worst.

Who is your all-time favorite person to game with? I think everyone adds to the fun. But my favorite GM is Andrew. He's running an Earthdawn game and I'm constantly impressed by how fair, fun, and interesting it is. He remembers everything (or at least writes it down) and the decision he makes make sense, both in character and out. Great job, Andrew!

Do you have anything gaming-related to plug? Someone, PLEASE open a gaming store in Ann Arbor. They're all gone!


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