Features > Tell Me About Your Character > Ryan Shelton
 

Your name: Mountzionryan
Location: East Tennessee
Age: 35
Sex: Male

Family: Married for 17 years in December. A 13 year-old daughter, a 7 year-old son.

Religion: Orthodox Christian (sometimes called Eastern Orthodox), OCA to be exact.

Political party/affiliation: Ron Paul

Education: I graduated from Berea College with a major in Religion and a minor in history.

Hobbies/Activities: AYSO coach, pretend to play the banjo, music of all stripes.

Just to test the stereotype - Have you ever lived, or are you currently living, in your parents' basement? Nope. We are living in the huge upstairs area though (3 bedrooms, a bathroom and a den).

What is your favorite time of year, and why? I absolutely love Autumn. The crisp clear air, the cool temps, the time for a bonfire. I love the way the air smells. I have since I was about 7 years old.

What was your favorite toy as a child? GI Joes. Without a doubt, I was exactly the right age when the small figures first came out and played with them until I was, ahem, about 15.

What makes you cry? I am a sucker for powerfully emotional movies, emotional stories of selfless generosity on NPR, oh, and onions.


What is your favorite section of the newspaper? Comics and crossword

Do you have a useless talent that no one else that you know can do?
What is it?
I have an amazingly sensitive sense of small. It is my superpower.
I am the Olfactory Kid!

What did you want to be when you grew up? I want to be a writer. I still
want to be a writer, but I just don’t have the drive and discipline to do it.

What are three things you can't live without? 1) My music. I have a pretty sizeable music collection and am eagerly awaiting the day I can have a satellite receiver implanted in my brain and simply stream my music a la satellite radio.

2) Beer. Mmm liquid bread. Thankfully my local hometown grocery has the best beer selection in the area.

3) Popcorn. I love me some popcorn. I eat popcorn about 3 nights a week.

What is your favorite mode of transportation? HMS Surprise.

If you could pick any other time period to live in - including the future - which would it be, and why? I am enamored of the Royal Navy of the Napoleonic Wars. So long as I could be an officer, I’d choose that time.

What is one thing that you regret that you would go back and change if you could? If I had known about School at Sea programs in High School, I would’ve been all over that.

What is the one thing you want to do before you die? Jeez, just one? I’d like to go on a pilgrimage to a monastery, serve as a missionary in Africa, visit Iceland, and sail on a square-rigger.

Tell us about your favorite RPG character that you've ever
played.
Friar Cedric was a huge man, and a blacksmith by trade.
One day he had a religious conversion and left everything to serve
God. He kept, as his weapons, a pair of smith’s hammers. His first
adventure was in a city where a demonic influence was slowly
corrupting everything. He was so moved by the plight of the city’s
poor that he set up an ad hoc employment agency and a daily
feed the hungry meal (a la stone soup).

Later in his career he founded a religious order, a monastery with places for monks, nuns, and families. He started down the path of pacifism after seeing too much bloodshed. But once his monastery established and thriving, he had a change of heart. He donned a suit of blood red plate armor and began preaching the overthrow of the evil Emperor (who was a demigod spawn of the main evil god). He then established a second order, called the Blood Monks, whose existence continued for hundreds of years, serving as non-political protectors of the land and justice.

He was a straight cleric in an AD&D 2e game set in a homebrew world. Incidentally during the later part of the campaign I played a second character simultaneously who ranks high on my list of favorite PCs. Rinaldo Alphonse de Louis de Cavalcanti, a swashbuckler of the first order.

What are your favorite RPGs? In no particular order: Lacuna, Beat to Quarters, Savage Worlds, Risus, WFRP 2nd, New World of Darkness, Weapons of the Gods, and Dust Devils,

What was your first RPG session like? I honestly don’t remember. I do remember we were playing with Red Box basic D&D, but we didn’t grok most of the rules, so just made them up on our own.

For example:

Player: I want to cast Magic Missle

DM (me): Okay roll 1d8, on a 3 or better you succeed.

Player: I attack with my sword.

DM (me): Okay roll d6, you hit on a 5 or 6. This guy is tough.

What was your WORST RPG session like? Oh man I don’t know. I’ve been really fortunate with games. Perhaps the time I basically railroaded the players to investigate a cultic temple in Kara-Tur. I had maps, NPCs and all kinds of goodness planned. About halfway there they looked at each other and said, why the heck are we going there anyway. I convinced them to continue but it was a lost cause.

There was also the time I was introducing role-playing to a friend and we were playing a Viking game and I kept reminding him that he was a Viking and they would do “X”. I was a real jerk and probably turned him off of role-playing forever. He is still a close friend though.

Who is your all-time favorite person to game with? I’d have to say my current gaming group. Our goals and wants for gaming match up nicely and complement one another where they differ.

Do you have anything gaming-related to plug? I am the co-host of the RPGHaven Podcast www.therpghaven.com/podcast. I occasionally write The Depot: A General Store of Old West RPG Resources depot.mountzionpress.com. I also post from time to time at JustUsLeeg.com You should definitely follow me on Twitter @mountzionryan.

 


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