Features > Tell Me About Your Character > Amanda Shanahan
 

Your name: Amanda Shanahan (Rabiesbunny)
Location: Northern Minnesota
Age: 23
Sex: Female

Family: I have a brother, sister, Father and stepmother, and a
great boyfriend of six years.

Political party/affiliation: Independent, leaning toward
conservative these days. My city is so liberal I find myself driven
to it, ha!

Education: I finished out high school, but like many gamers, had such a bad experience with public schooling.

Hobbies/Activities: Hobbies BESIDES gaming, eh? Well, I like to read books and research World War II tactics and battles (recently I've been on a Rommel kick, which earns me no lack of grief in our gaming group!). Playing my DS, writing stories and doing art for my D&D characters seems to take all my free time. I also enjoy collecting Transformers and other action figures.

How many languages do you speak? A smattering of German and a slightly smaller amount of Japanese. I fail pretty hard at any language I try to learn!


Just to test the stereotype -- Have you ever lived, or are you currently living, in your parents' basement?
I have, when I was under eighteen! Right now, actually, I'm living ABOVE my boyfriend's mother's house -- she rents apartments, so
we rent from her. So I can honestly say I'm not a
basement dwelling crab though!

What is your favorite time of year, and why? Autumn.
Here in Minnesota it doesn't last long. Spring is too wet, summer gets far
too hot, and winter's insanely cold. Autumn's dry, cool, and snow free up toward the end of October. It's a happy time of year.


What is your favorite way to spend a weekend?
Preferably I don't work on the weekend, so Saturday is spent with the gaming group. When we're done, we almost always take a long walk along Lake Superior and discuss the night's gaming, hit Perkins for dinner and then crash. Sundays are lazy days; I prefer to spend them watching movies and vegging before work the next day.

What is your favorite time of year, and why? Autumn. Here in Minnesota it doesn't last long. Spring is too wet, summer gets far too hot, and winter's insanely cold. Autumn's dry, cool, and snow free up toward the end of October. It's a happy time of year.

What is your most prized physical possession? Well, if you mean something I own, it would be my mother's ashes. That not included it would be my Winnie the Pooh bear I've had since I was 2 weeks old. I love that thing, and its music box still works. Makes me feel better when I'm down.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I'd like to be more bold. I'm such a meek person around anyone but my gaming group, and I feel silly for it.

What was your favorite toy as a child? My huge metal Tonka truck - I wish kids these days had toys that awesome.

What makes you cry? Code of Hero, the episode in Beast Wars:Transformers where Dinobot sacrifices himself. That episode turns me into a blubbering baby every time.

If you could be one superhero, which hero would you be? I would want to be like my idol, Booster Gold; have awesome stolen future-tech and be a jerk to everyone except for Skeets.

What is the one thing you want to do before you die? I've already met my main goal in life, the one thing I needed to do before I died; I saw Queen live in concert, with Paul Rodgers.
Freddie Mercury died when I was 5 or 6, but I still remember the day it happened, and it broke my heart. I thought I would never get to see them, but when Brian May and Roger Taylor went on tour with Paul I had my chance. And it was to date the most amazing few hours of my life. So I would have to say living to see a zombie apocalypse. ;)

What do you think of D&D 4.0? I hate it. It is not D&D as we've known it before, and the drastic destruction of Forgotten Realms goes against any of the previous literature and lore that has been built over 20+ years of the product. The money-making scheme of WotC has paid off, but they won't be profiting off of our gaming group.

Tell us about your favorite RPG character that you've ever played.
Oh boy, I've got tons. My most recent one is becoming my
favorite, she's the only character who's survived our evil
campaign for the almost two years its been going. Umolka
Vhirkina is my Druid/Talontar Blightlord in our evil campaign,
running in the Forgotten Realms (D20 3.0/3.5 rules). Our campaign
is a primarily Zhent/Banite run party, but my Thayan woshiper of Talona
(goddess of disease and poison) has managed to stay fitting in pretty well.
I usually play evil characters that have redeeming qualities -- I like to humanize
them, and Umolka's the first evil aligned character I've ever played who is almost
irredeemable.


She's selfish, petty, and mean, though she's learned to at least love someone nearly as much as herself recently. There's almost no way to justify giving people horrible diseases, or killing them with poison because it's what you do. It's just what she enjoys doing in life. She's a challenging character to play, and I enjoy that the most.

(I promise, this is leading to one of my favorite experiences with Umolka) Our campaign is deviating heavily from the published 4.0 Forgotten Realms story, and as it is heavily Zhent based, we had a lot of focus on the goings on of Zhentil Keep. In our continuity, the Church of Bane (LE god of Tyranny) all but won a civil war in the Zhentarim against the agents of Cyric (CE god of Lies and Madness), and turned their attentions to their long standing enemies to the south, the Dalelands. The Zhents set up an invasion force, and Umolka was press-ganged into the Zhentarim for purposes of the invasion. She and her party entered the forests at the edge, and found something odd.

Months before Umolka had been in the Dalelands briefly with her party members, visiting a party member's parents, and Umolka's blightspawed rat had bitten a few forest creatures. (Blightspawned is a template, a creature who is affected by Talona's holy disease Blight touch, in which animals and magical beasts affected can become slavering plant creatures, and eventually, undead.) It turns out that this had started to affect the Dalelands, and by the time
the Zhents arrived the forests and plains were full overrun with the diseased animals. They attacked the Zhents just as much as the locals, and Umolka was the only Talontar in the area with these abilities to control the creatures. We ended up making it through the heavy forest without a loss, and came upon a farmstead. Umolka's lover, a drow assassin NPC named Rav, was told to scout it as it was suspected this was the farmstead of Storm Silverhand.

A flash of light later Rav was gone, and we approached the farm. Our party leader, a shadow dragon disciple named Curos, knocked on the door and Storm Silverhand walked out. The battle that followed was too short (as her build in the 3.0 Forgotten Realms sourcebook is extremely horrible for the character, we destroyed her and we weren't meant to. Ooops...), and she poofed with a contingency spell. Umolka, at not finding Rav anywhere but finding a scorch
mark on the wall, later that night requested time off from night watch to rest due to grief, but he wouldn't let her. She went to sleep anyway, and he dragged her out in front of his troops and
tried to whip her for insubordination because his troops were nearby and he didn't want to look bad. Umolka ended up getting free, and within the day they were moving again.

As we approached Shadowdale, we ran into a garrison of mounted troops that turned out to be Cormyrian. This meaning that Cormyr was now getting involved in the defense of Shadowdale, Curos ordered Umolka to fly back to the supply wagons on his dracosteed and let them know that Cormyr was involved. She did, and in doing so left her animal companion (a horrid rat named Pox) behind to protect the Shugenja of Kossuth. The battle wasn't in their favor, so Curos ordered a full retreat, but left Pox behind. Umolka felt her only real friend die through the empathic link.

The following night she found a blightspawned Gray Render that she had heard of in the area, dominated it, and had it attack the caravan as it had begun its retreat from Shadowdale. After she attacked Curos she fled into the woods, with him following, and the dragon disciple easily killed Umolka.

She returned to life with the aid of a Banite priest of some power, but now owes the church of Bane her life, and so is forced to be more subserviant to them. The relationship between she and Curos, due to her traumatic death, has been an interesting and evolving relationship. The whole Dalelands experience is the favorite thing that has happened with Umolka!

What are your favorite RPGs? D&D. My group is HEAVILY roleplay based - it's character development first, game mechanics second.

What was your first RPG session like? I started roleplaying on Neverwinter
Nights, on a server based in the Silver Marches. It was interesting, but the egos and e-peens of the many roleplayers there ruined the game for me.

What was your WORST RPG session like? My boyfriend is the DM of our evil campaign we are currently running. At one time he was DMing for 12 or so people, and it was sheer madness. One of our gaming groups less liked members, a rich high school kid, had been insisting for ages we come up to his house. His house was up in an area of town we call zombie country, and it was the dead of winter, so the roads were bad. It took us over an hour to go maybe 20 miles, and by the time we got there he told us he had no food for us, then went and made himself pizza rolls! But the worst was yet to come -- during the session his character (a halfling tiefling) wanted gold for something. He asked my boyfriend if his character could write his Erinyes mother a letter asking for the gold. Naturally, being she's an Erinyes, my boyfriend said no. The kid jumped up, yelled some profanities, and stormed out.

Who is your all-time favorite person to game with? My boyfriend, hands-down. We share such similar gaming tastes, and he gives me the best ideas.

Do you have anything gaming-related to plug? Actually, I do! I've got forums running for the Northern Minnesota area, http://northlandgaming.freeforums.org. Our gaming group, Critical Failure, are one of the only ones posting on these boards, but it's open to any gamers who want to talk!

 


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