Features > Tell Me About Your Character > Julian Vargas

Your name: Julian Vargas
Location: Dekalb, Illinois
Age: 23
Sex: Male

Family: I have three brothers and a sister (whom I have never met in person). My brothers and I run the gamut in social roles. I am an extrovert, writer, and (generally) intelligent person whereas my younger brother, for example, is an introverted tattoo artist and (genuinely) intelligent. I have a twin (fraternal) who recently returned from deployment as a marine in Afghanistan.

My older brother is a gamer like myself, though his gaming has increased exponentially since a chance encounter with a gang member consigned him to a wheelchair (a short but infuriatingly senseless story). My older sister, bearing the beautiful name of Zarai (Sar aw ee), lives in Cuba. The embargo makes staying in touch with her difficult.

Religion: My family moved quite a bit during my childhood for a reason that was never properly explained to me. I believe it had something to do with extended family members disapproving of my mother's marriage to my father (She is Cuban, he is Mexican. Isn't it refreshing that all races can participate in racism equally?). As we moved, our mother would take us to whichever church happened to be nearest our new home, regardless of denomination.

As such, I have been baptized twice, been a Mormon, Catholic, Witness, and any number of non denominational Christian. Now an adult, I maintain some distance between myself and organized religion, not necessarily distance between myself and God. I don't believe I need robed men (or women) to form a connection with Him (no offense to the clergy).

Education: I learned English at the age of nine and promptly fell in love with it. Due to the constant, nomadic wanderings of the Vargas clan, I found myself perpetually in
the role of 'new kid' at any number of elementary schools throughout California. It
seemed that I went to school in every town in California that had a Spanish name
(That's Sacramento == > south).

My constant need to make new friends led, I believe, to my current ease with
social situations. Long drives and moves left me trapped in a car with naught to
do but read or count mile markers. I began to develop adeptness with the written
word that has followed me from the Pacific to Lake Michigan, but my skills in math
are, frankly, embarrassing.

I never finished high school, dropping out in an ill advised plot to antagonize my mother. I grew up and received a GED, which I utilized to gain entry into a community college. Back in the familiar role of student, I excelled again and became an honor student, maintaining a 3.75 GPA until my transfer to a state four year university, where I am currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree, to be followed by either a Master's or a Master of Fine Arts degree. My high test scores and lack of financial support entitle me to one Go Directly to College (Do Not Pass Go or shell out 50,000 dollars) card, which I no longer feel guilty for taking advantage of.

Hobbies/Activities: I rollerblade, write (a lot), and am at the point where bar crawl can be listed as a hobby.

Have you ever lived, or are you currently living, in your parents' basement? No, I moved out when I was 17.

What is your favorite word? Cadera! It means hips in Spanish, but I love it because I convinced all of my non Spanish speaking co workers (all of them) that it was a terrible swear word by only uttering it when something bad happened and always apologizing for it afterwards.

How many languages do you speak? I speak English, Spanish, some German.

If you could have one superpower, which power would you pick? Flight, hands down. Were it not for my childhood games of 'who can stare at the sun the longest' (I won most of the time) and subsequent terrible vision, I probably would have strived to become a pilot.

What is one thing that you regret that you would go back and change if you could? Dropping out of school. I would be so much further along if I hadn't.

What is the one thing you want to do before you die? Write something that will be remembered well (by anybody).

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 a completely white flag with a tiny black smudge in the center. When asked by any visitors to my glorious nation of one, I will grandly inform them that it is a sacred image of a polar bear blinking in a blizzard, then laugh until I couldn't breathe.

How much wood would a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck would chuck wood? Well, a wood chuck would chuck as much wood as a wood chuck could chuck, wouldn't it, Chuck?

Tell us about your favorite RPG character that you've ever played. I mostly DM/ST/GM these days, but back when I first got into the hobby, I played a mage that boastfully
proclaimed his power to any that would unstopper their ears long enough to hear. He
was also incredibly lazy, so he didn't earn much in the way of experience or treasure,
but his ability to utilize his weaker powers to maximum effect allowed him to fake being
more powerful. My favorite moment with him was one in which a freak storm hit during
an escapade up a crumbling tower. By sheer chance, lightning struck an enemy mage
that was preparing to unleash vile unpleasantness all over my unarmored hit points
during my initiative count. Naturally I took full credit, using my action that round to
conjure sizzling smoke from my fingertips and glare menacingly at the (dead) mages

What are your favorite RPGs?
I play D&D mostly, but I've always loved Shadowrun. I was able to convince my gaming crew to allow me to break away from their beloved Realms and run a Shadowrun game for three glorious months before they began to fidget and ask why this temporary game was lasting so long. Ingrates…

What was your first RPG session like? I was reading at a combination used bookstore/comic book shop/games shop when the owner informed me that he was closing shop and I had to go unless I was in the game that night. Curious, I lied and said that I was. I sat in on a session of AD&D as an observer to the Temple of Elemental Evil campaign. The next week I was trying to untangle the mysteries of THAC0 and rolling up a thief.

What was your WORST RPG session like? My worst session was my first one as a DM. In an attempt to force me to grow a thick skin, my nascent gaming crew did their worst, utterly destroying the campaign that I had written in a single nights gaming. They still feel bad about it, but I won't tell them that the campaign they trashed was written as a novelist would have written. Railroad plots and massive amounts of exposition would have resulted in a worse evening by far.

Who is your all-time favorite person to game with? It's a toss up between my older brother, who is of the old players versus that “dice slinging screen monkey” behind the DM screen (me) with hilariously paranoid theories as to why NPCs do anything (“Why did that guard nod at us? Smells like we've just been marked for a sniper. Julian, I stick to broken field movements, constantly changing direction and ducking randomly.”), and my friend Rob who's exploits have coined the gaming table phrases “MWP (Mad With Power)” and subsequently “Blowfish MWP” (wherein his mad schemes for power balloon out of control and sting his party). “In exchange for the Steel Grimoire I would gladly trade you this ancient blade and three fine horses. My comrades are of course fully aware that it is in my possession, and were they able to find their horses and make it to this meeting they would agree to the trade.”

Do you have anything gaming-related to plug? Not really a plug but a sort of request. I'm creating a post apocalyptic campaign setting ad any suggestions would be appreciated. I collect my various works at www.apocmirror.blogspot.com so if anyone wants to add any ideas to what I'm working on, feel free.


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