2 parents, 6 siblings, 1 ex-spouse, 1 fiancee, and 2 kids
One neurotic cat named "Lenore"
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,
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.
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).")
your favorite time of year, and why? Autumn – in the
northeast. I love the change of seasons, the colors, the chill in the
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*)
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.
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.)
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.
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!
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
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.
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.)
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.)
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,
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
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
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.)
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
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
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*
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
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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