Features > Tell Me About Your Character > Christopher B

Your name: Christopher B
Location: Central New York
Age: 41
Sex: Male

Family: 2 parents, 6 siblings, 1 ex-spouse, 1 fiancee, and 2 kids

Pets: One neurotic cat named "Lenore"

Religion: Devout agnostic


Just to test the stereotype - Have you ever lived, or are you currently living, in your parents' basement? Scary thought, that – it’s a 100+-year-old farmhouse; they didn’t have basements so much as they had cellars when the house was built. You know: stone foundation, earth floors, cold, dank. So, the answer would be a definitive “Thankfully, no!”

What is the most frightening thing you've ever done? Chasing after and confronting - alone - a truckload of jocks who had shouted some not-niceties at me as they drove by. It wasn't so much frightening at the time (indignation and anger can make you crazy like that, ya know) but in retrospect it was about as good an idea as playing chicken with a freight train.

How many languages do you speak? Dos: English, and French – un
peu. (No, not Spanish – but I can count to six in Spanish, thanks to
"Pretty Fly (for a White Guy).")

What is your favorite time of year, and why? Autumn – in the
northeast. I love the change of seasons, the colors, the chill in the air
as winter approaches. Nothing beats October in the northeast, IMHO.
(Of course, I’m a Scorpio and Halloween's my favorite holiday –
so I may be a bit biased. *wink*)


What is your most prized physical possession? You know, I used to be able to answer this question, but for some reason I can't do so anymore. Maybe it's age getting to me, or maybe it's the location changes I've gone through in the past couple of years that have seen me divest myself of many of my belongings... But I really don't have any possessions I'd consider prized.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I wouldn't have diabetes - and wouldn't have been a diabetic most of my life. This damn disease prevented me from doing a lot of things I might have done when I was younger. (Backpacking across Europe becomes a lot less feasible when you have to work so that you have medical insurance to cover the cost of medications.)

Did you have any embarassing nicknames as a kid? I can't say that I did - it didn't make my childhood any less of a nightmare, though. The people who picked on me found many other ways to make my childhood difficult. I'm not sure why they never got around to giving me an embarassing nickname.

What was your favorite toy as a child? I went through stages: In the early-/mid-70's, it was Adventure Team G.I.Joe ("Kung-fu grip!"); later, Micronauts; then, anything Star Wars; then Legos. Then the 80's came, and all that really mattered were RPGs!

Do you have a useless talent that no one else that you know can do? I can perfectly imitate the sound of a cat vomiting. If you know of any way to make money from this seemingly useless talent, please let me know!

If you could have one superpower, which power would you pick? I'd be able to fly. Not so much for the soaring like a bird part, but because there's just something I like about the thought of flight being as simple a stepping into the air, and not falling.

What did you want to be when you grew up? When I was really young, I wanted to be an astronaut. As I grew older, I wanted to be a science fiction author. (Not for the fame, but because I loved to write and thought it would be great to be able to support myself doing so.)

What is your favorite mode of transportation? Anything pretty, fast, and on four wheels. (Right now, my dream vehicle's a Tesla Roadster. Mmmmm... Pretty, fast, AND environmentally friendly.)

If you could pick any other time period to live in - including the future - which would it be, and why? Actually, I'd like to sample several of them: Helenic Greece, Renaissance (aka Elizabethan) England, the 1920's, and any future period when space travel is common enough for folks like me to take advantage of it, but still new enough to have not lost its wonder.

Tell us about your favorite RPG character that you've
ever played.
Without a doubt, that would be Fred Carter, a
gun-toting, nyctophobic gym coach.

First created for Palladium's Beyond the Supernatural, then
ported into TriTac's Bureau 13: Stalking the Night Fantastic,
Fred was just a whole bunch of fun to play. He was basically an
average (if a bit neurotic - okay, maybe a lot neurotic) Joe
caught up in a variety of weird escapades. (His favorite way to
overcome his fear of the dark was to light up the area with muzzle flash.)

By far, his most memorable adventure was also his first. It's been about 18 years so most of the details are fuzzy, but I distinctly remember the end of the adventure (a trio of us good guys fighting off a demon's bipedal lizard hench-things while we tried to locate her lair): After several near-lethal encounters with aforementioned beasties, the intrepid trio made its way into a Louisiana bayou to confront the Big Bad. After much gunfire and several explosions, the Big Bad was banished, and the last of her minions fell dead into the murky water. And Fred, shaking with exhileration and full of pride for having overcome the lizard-nasties (via liberal application of small arms fire and home-made explosives) popped the last magazine from his last loaded firearm - and nearly passed out when he saw that he was down to a single bullet. (The mere implication that he was that close to having to go hand-to-hand with the creatures - something he'd already experienced and would not have survived, had it not been for a conveniently located revolver - was enough to make him go instantly weak in the knees. Good thing BtS doesn't have a SAN stat, 'cuz that experience would have ruined him for sure!)

There was also a memorable scene following the defeat of an animated oak tree, during which Fred and his psychic friend, Axle, were nearly bludgeoned to death: Axle had dragged Fred, whose leg was crushed by a huge stone slab wielded by the nasty tree, to his Jeep. As he prepared to pass out from the pain, Fred - concerned that the stone idol that animated the tree will cause more harm if not immediately secured - told Axle: "Go get that stone." My friend, playing Axle, replies with a perfectly straight face: "What? The one the tree hit you with??" At which point Fred reached up, grabbed Axle by the collar, and proceeded to repeatedly slam his head into the top of the vehicle.

Few adventures after the first had the same sort of creepy, "desperate struggle against evil" vibe, but there were many more memorable highlights. (Especially when Fred made the change to B13:StNF - where he rolled lucky and gained Anti-Psi abilities - much to the chagrin of fellow psi-wielding characters! Their cries of "Fred! Get away from me!" and "Fred! Why is my nose bleeding?!" were commonplace but nonetheless always amusing.)

What are your favorite RPGs? I'm a big horror fan, so I like a lot of the games in that genre (B13:StNF, BtS, Chill, Kult, Little Fears, etc.) but Call of Cthulhu is my all-time favorite. I just wish someone else would run a game once in a while so I could rank myself among CoC players, not just Keepers.

Aside from that, I like mainly rules-lite, old-school games: Basic D&D/1E AD&D, Castles & Crusades, Gamma World, Cyberpunk (2013 version), Top Secret, Villains & Vigilantes; as well as: Savage Worlds, Mazes & Minotaurs, some WoD stuff. I also just recently discovered AGON and Supercrew, both of which look like a lot of fun.

What was your first RPG session like? December 28 (IIRC), 1982: My best friend, my nephew, and I embarked on our first game of basic D&D at my house. I had just gotten the Moldvay boxed set (magenta box, red book) for Christmas, and my best friend had gotten the Holmes set (complete with state of the art randomizer chits!). He ran B2: Keep on the Borderlands. After a couple hours of killing NPC's at the Keep and taking their stuff, we gave up and played Dark Tower for the rest of the day.

Then: "This killing townspeople and stealing their treasure is getting kinda boring."

Later: "What do you mean there were caves full of monsters outside the Keep?!"

It may not have been terribly fun, but I could still see the game's great potential. (But it was 5 years before I ever played/ran anything other than a home-brew module.)

What was your WORST RPG session like? Circa 1990: My first foray into the universe of Rifts, in a game run by a friend of a friend. I learned that evening that bad DMs and broken rulesets are a sure recipe for disaster. "Sorry, player - your puny weapon is totally useless against my Big Bad's MDC armor... luckily, my super-boffo NPC can save your pathetic butt." *sigh*

Who is your all-time favorite person to game with? I like GMing for my friends, because I know them well enough that I can create and run adventures that I know they'll enjoy. I like gaming with my fianceee, because she gets into playing her characters and immerses herself in the story. I like gaming with my boys, because they still have the sense of wonder about gaming that tends to be lost as we mature.

Do you have anything gaming-related to plug? Yeah, my own gaming material. (Hey, you asked - therefore, I feel no remorse about shamelessly plugging my own stuff!) While I have yet to delve into RPG territory, I've published a trio of miniatures games. You can check them out at: www.game-werks.com.


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