Age: 74 in April
2 grown kids, 6 grandkids, all other
relatives have died.
Methodist; diaconal ordination.
party/affiliation: Green Party US; Fannin County (TX)
BA, Southern Methodist
University; MS, University of North Texas (The Attacks on
Role-Playing Games was to be my thesis, but they switched me
to the journalism department which permitted only statistical theses,
not historical research. If I had used the CAR-PGa Media Bias Study, I
never would have gotten my degree because they don't believe the mass
media should ever be criticized!).
Music (trombone, guitar,
recorder, tub bass, ballad chaser before radio tainted the folk songs);
writing (mostly nonfiction); folk board games (many have been
commercially marketed: Chinese Checkers (halma), Othello (fan mein),
Pente (go ban), etc.); both recreational and museum model building
before effective tremor set in.
service: Trombone, Paris Municipal Band (summers),
Fannin County Community Band (all year); civil rights; Committee for
the Advancement of Role-Playing Games (CAR-PGa).
test the stereotype - Have you ever lived, or are you currently living,
in your parents' basement? Basements are rather rare
around here. I
grew up with a rather standard ground floor bedroom. I left home
to go to college, but returned for three years when they moved
a half mile from the school, left again to get married - 50 years
ago come September.
your favorite way to spend a weekend? Games on
Friday nights, cons on Saturday (if any), church on Sunday; TV,
reading or writing in between.
the most frightening thing you've ever done? As
municipal recreation director, I forced the parasitic suburb to build
proper recreation centers. (Four of the activities were getting
national coverage.) I never got to work in municipal recreation again,
and indeed had to leave the country to feed my family. Blacklisting is
no urban legend, and a professor of recreation administration verified
it in my case.
your accomplishments are you the most happy with? Getting
peer-reviewed papers on RPG published.
your favorite word? Bill of Rights (which, of course,
includes obligations). So, it's
three sylables and a couple of spaces - it is still one word!
languages do you speak? English; read French fairly
well; decipher Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, rusty on Dutch.
your favorite time of year, and why? Spring; wildflowers
are in bloom.
your most prized physical possession? My library.
could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Younger, but only if I could keep my knowledge; I don't want to make
those mistakes again when I could be making new ones.
your favorite toy as a child? I don't remember, probably
something scientific like my dad's old microscope.
makes you cry? Figuratively - my lacrymal glands don't
work too well. Injustice ended (or at least abated) - from the Berlin
Wall being torn down with sledge hammers and cold chisels to the
Marseillaise scene in Casablanca; Music, particularly Mozart or
Beethoven, but so does Danny Kaye's rendition of Malvina Reynold's
"Turn Around" - and that before I even had a daughter; "Tom's" letter
to his sister about the 1914 Christmas truce.
your favorite section of the newspaper? Comics - the
only place The People rather than multinational corporations get
support in the papers.
three things you can't live without? Love, beauty, and
could have one superpower, which power would you pick?
The ability to read, write, speak, and understand every language -
including abstract ones like music and math.
you want to be when you grew up? As a child?
Archeologist (never did); museum modeler (did that).
your favorite mode of transportation? An Arthurs hybrid
(plug-in electric car with an onboard generator for long trips, and
will fit on a flat car for very long trips). It and the rail
infrastructure don't exist yet, but should, although a few of the cars
have been home-made, but not by me.
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? As part of designing a six
semester-hour course, Introduction to Appropriate Technology (the
human-scaled, nonpolluting, non-exploitative sfsystems of living), I
toyed with a term project of "describe a country which uses AT
exclusively, explain how it got that way". I tried and ended up with a
105,000 word novel which no publisher would even read, much less
publish. Set in the Pacific south of Cook, its flag was light blue with
a yellow sun with wavy rays. I will use Vita's.
about your favorite RPG character that you've ever played.
My favorite is
always the one I am currently playing.
The best one for an
individual combat exploit was Chira, a centaur in Mythworld.
She was still a beginning character and we were using an old RuneQuest
scenario involving scaling a tower, which she couldn't do. Alone, she
attacked by a tuskrider knight (a species of diurnal troll riding
pigs). With a joust-like charge, she lowered her lance at the last
skewering the tusker. Even though only 35% at shield parry, she
enemy lance. Then spent the next eight rounds and most of her fatigue
finishing him off!
For non-combat, it would
be Sabra Wellspring, a halfling alchemist. Again, another system's
scenario with Mythworld rules, the missing
courier from Iron Crown's Middle Earth. The band
headed to the waterfront dives to get information while Sabra was
cleaning up the house the band had rented and setting out her shingle.
Late that night, the rest of the band returned, having barely escaped a
couple of brawls and with no information. Sabra had hired some
neighborhood kids to help with the cleaning, who knew exactly where the
courier was held, traded some medicine for some training, and
established her reputation for quality products. All with no particular
danger - at least until the rescue where she took out two of the
guards, one with a captured crossbow she had never used before.
your favorite RPGs? Mythworld,
because I designed it, so it would be my favorite. I started RPG with RuneQuest
2 (Mythworld was originally a
proposal for RQ3, but too detailed for Greg
Stafford's tastes). I also like Toon. I designed Nuclear
Winter, a nuclear holocaust survival game, but the Cold War
fell apart before I could market it.
your first RPG session like? It went rather well for
all beginners (including the referee). It was RuneQuest 2,
and played on a rather dead Saturday afternoon in the back room of my
your worst RPG session like? A convention game of Teenagers
from Outer Space. The problem was that one player
disapproved of jokes which are the heart of the game and the rest
couldn't think of any, leaving me like a stand-up comic working a
totally potted audience.
your all-time favorite person to game with? As players,
there are too many to recount. There are two as referee: Randy Ray
because he was always testing the use of Mythworld
rules and other system's scenarios; Dan Richards because of his
undeserved reputation as a "killer ref" - he never tried to wipe out
the PCs, he merely played the NPCs as though they were his own PCs and
they never rolled over and played dead, and rarely retreated.
have anything gaming-related to plug? Three things: I
doubt anyone out here in the boonies will read it, but we have some
making a 100+ mile trip to help testplay the first revision of Mythworld
since it was published in 1985. First, third, and fifth Friday nights,
in Bonham (contact email@example.com for directions).
CAR-PGa needs members
all over the world. We are an international research network studying
all aspects of RPG, including use in curriculum and therapy as well as
recreation. Dues are merely documented work for the cause and you can
get full information by going back to the home page of The Escapist and
(the old dot matrix boxed set) is $35.00 including US shipping ($5.00
more elsewhere). Subtitled Realistic Fantasy, it
is easy to learn - just add polytheism, magic, and other intelligent
species to what you know and play. Movement is actual meters per
second, the square-cube law and second law of thermodynamics are still
in place, etc. The Bestiary was used by the Dallas Museum of Natural
History for an Olympics tie-in because that is the
only place with the speeds and jumping distances in one volume. When
the revision (more of an expansion, as the rules worked quite well) is
completed (2007 or 2008 - we keep finding something else to test), all
changes will be included in a separate book, so you can update the
original without having to do a complete retooling. And we have
testplayers who are cold-testing it outside the previously mentioned
group and would accept more.
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