Features > Tell Me About Your Character > Steve Darlington

Your name: Steve Darlington, but everyone calls me Steve D. That's something I'm over-joyed about - it's been my lifelong dream to have a nickname, and I join such luminaries as John K(ovalic) and er, um....okay, so there aren't many nicknames in gaming. That's cool too. The only problem is people get me confused with my colleague Steve Dempsey. He's the English one.

Location: I used to live in England and desperately wish to again, but I currently reside in Brisbane, Australia, which combines sweltering jungle humidity with the world's worst drought (10 years and counting now, I think).

Age: I'm twenty nine years old (made it into the industry before 30 - yes!) and am male. I'm also white, painfully middle-class, over-educated in the sciences (honours in mathematics), fairly good with a computer and work in a cubicle, in a technical capacity (medical statistics). So I fit the typical gamer model fairly well.

Political party/affiliation: I'm very much on the left, and moderately motivated along those lines.

Just to test the stereotype - Have you ever lived, or are you currently living, in your parents' basement? I have never lived in my parents' basement, but Australian houses don't have basements. The ground's too hard, and too hot, and in the north we build up off the ground to catch the breezes. I did live with my parents until I was 23, but that's not a lot these days.

What is your favorite way to spend a weekend? Probably flying to a foreign
country, struggling through a language barrier, navigating strange streets, bunking
down in a flop house and then going out to see wonders I've never dreamed of.
Failing that, lazing around with my partner and my puppy, doing a crossword, and
roleplaying until we choke from laughter.

What is the most frightening thing you've ever done? I had to talk
| someone out of comitting suicide once.

What is your favorite word? GENOYMEEN!

What was your first word?
No idea, although thanks to Sesame Street I was obsessed with saying "double-u".

How many languages do you speak? One, but I can mumble convincingly at a hotel desk in
French, Danish and Japanese.

What is your favorite time of year, and why? Late autumn or late spring. When the metaphorical ice begins to shatter and a whole new world blows in.

What is your most prized physical possession? My memorystick. I need my latest writing projects wherever I go.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I'd really like to be independently wealthy.

What was your favorite toy as a child? Probably Super Jeronimo Dog, so named so he shared my initials. He was a second-hand plush orange-tan sausage dog thing, and (in my head) when he stretched out his ears, he could fly like superman.

What makes you cry? Depression, self-loathing, isolation, fear, helplessness, the pain of others, you know, the usual.

What is your favorite section of the newspaper? The comics, of course. Strip comics are dying (and I don't really think webcomics are quite the same) but they're one of my all-time favourite media.

What are three things you can't live without? The internet, roleplaying and laughter.

If you could have one superpower, which power would you pick? Flight. I just want to be able to move in three dimensions. Two is so dull.

What did you want to be when you grew up? A puppeteer. Puppetry and animation are amazing to me, because they are literally the creation of life. I'm fascinated that you can put a sock on your hand and draw some eyes on it and that's enough to cause cognitive dissonance, and within seconds, people will talk to the sock as if it were real. My love of roleplaying comes from a similar place.

What is your favorite mode of transportation? The train. As fast as a boat, but you can get on and off like a bus.

If you could pick any other time period to live in - including the future - which would it be, and why? I'd really like to see how biotech is going in 100 years time, but I'm a bit uncertain about the future. Failing that, the late 19th century to the early 20th. It was a really amazing time for the world, with the benefit of medicine actually existing.

What is one thing that you regret that you would go back and change if you could? No way. I saw the Butterfly Effect. I'm way to scared to do that.

What is the one thing you want to do before you die? Climb up to Machu Picchu.

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's a stylised dog. Or maybe a really funny picture off the internet. Wouldn't it be awesome if every time you saw your flag you burst out laughing?

What do you think of these questions? I think they're pretty interesting. I'm doubtful anyone would care about my answers, but if they are, I'm deeply flattered. One of my great goals in life
is to be interviewed in a specific fashion. That to me is the ultimate acknowledgement of one's
importance, which I guess is my goal in life. It's happened once, but Kuma never published it, darn it.

Tell us about your favorite RPG character that you've ever played. Such a tricky question. I'll answer it as the character I had the most fun playing, which is
Glorious Badger, made for D&D 3E. He was a halfling paladin of my previous
character, who was a thief and a rogue called Leaping Rabbit, who then went
off to start a religion. Glorious Badger rode a dog called Willikins whom he
would feed Spider Climb potions, allowing him to charge along the ceiling
at his enemies. He was also a nudist, who insisted on having a sauna
whenever possible, and every morning would oil himself with butter and do
naked squat thrusts in front of the mage (who was a brilliant straight man). He
made me laugh, and he made others laugh, and his legend lives on in our group's
hearts and minds. What more can you ask?

What are your favorite RPGs? Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, Buffy the Vampire Slayer,
Call of Cthulhu, Ghostbusters.

What was your first RPG session like? My first session was with the redbook basic D&D set. Like so many others, I played the Fighter they gave me, went into a dungeon, met the beautiful Aleena and watched Bargle kill her. The bastard. This was in my bedroom, naturally. I enjoyed it immensely. I think so many of us gamers really never left that dungeon, and to this day, we're trying to turn back time and find a way to Save Aleena. :)

What was your WORST RPG session like? What made it so bad? Tough call, but it was probably the game of Exalted I played at GenCon 2002. What made it so bad is we had
like seven or eight characters, and the plot was "ambush a Dragon Blooded and kill her". The GM was very, very dull and I had the most useless character you could imagine - I mean there was the sneaky ninja, the tough guy, the armoured knight guy, the archery guy, the diplomat, the martial artist, the sword master and I got the craftsman. The fricking CRAFTSMAN. Worst of all, it was a demo for the company.

It ties with a game I experienced at my local con last year, which was my first experience with Living Greyhawk. Like most Living Campaigns I've observed, it was a soulless exercise in hex gaming with individual figures and a GM who read straight from the boxed text in a mumbling monotone. He also didn't know the rules, fudged against us, looked like he didn't want to be there, and insulted the players. Both games I actually left half-way through, pretending I had to be somewhere else. I'll give you two hours, but that's it.

Who is your all-time favorite person to game with? It has to be my friend Colin, just ahead of the rest of my group. Colin is one of those players who, well, he loves the game so much. He LOVES it. And he loves his fellow players for coming, and his GM for showing up, and because he loves it, he gives his all to every single scene and session. And he talks about the game
when we're not playing, and he hugs me when I tell him I'm going to run something again, and he draws pictures and transcribes our recordings, and he makes you feel that the game is cooler than any comic, any movie or anything in the universe. With that kind of excitement, the game cannot help but rock, and in that kind of loving atmosphere, I just want to run or play forever. When he GMs, and it's my turn to act in the intitiative order, he looks at me as if he cannot wait to see how awesome I'm going to be. It's difficult to imagine a more positive, comforting and inspiring experience, in any circumstances, anywhere.

Do you have anything gaming-related to plug? I'm currently working for Black Industries
(www.blackindustries.com) on the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying game. Please check out my work on Children of the Horned Rat and the forthcoming Night's Dark Masters. All my work is collected at www.steved.org, so check that out too - it has heaps of new rules for WFRP (including a new setting), NPC monsters and stuff for Buffy, and my somewhat famous
indie Matrix RPG "There Is No Spoon" (http://www.steved.org/rp_rules_tins.html).



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