Features > Tell Me About Your Character > Charlie Etheridge-Nunn

Your name: Charlie Etheridge-Nunn
Location: Brighton, England
Age: 29
Sex: Male

Pets: A dog called Rothko currently, he’s my first mongrel and part everything (even bat and shark, I think). We had a psychotic ex-experimental rabbit/hare hybrid who would have been on the South Downs, attacking tourists and maybe destroying whole towns if we didn’t take her in.

Political party/affiliation: Anarcho-syndicalist apparently, although I was (unintentionally) voted the head of the Young Socialists once at University. I follow the political works of people like Noam Chomsky and Michael Parenti, as well as educational political comedians like Mark Thomas, Mark Steel and Rob Newman. I’m still willing to hear people out and acknowledge that many other people have equally valid political opinions. Differing opinions are awesome, as is questioning things. Thus, true democracy.

Education: My junior school was alright, I ended up like a mafia don of toys at one point. Then secondary school was like ‘Nam crossed with Silent Hill. I discovered gaming around that time and brought it to new friends at the other secondary school I moved to, which was like Clueless, if it was isolated in one building. Or two, as I found out with the sixth form college twinned with that school. I’ve since attended two universities, a former polytechnic for librarianship, then a red brick type uni for creative writing. Both had advantages and disadvantages, but both were great.

Hobbies/Activities: Writing, watching/studying television, photography, I used to fence before a leg injury made it too awkward, coffee, Rock Band, and more coffee.

Community service: I’ve been on political marches and did camera work for a World Aids Day event in Brighton in 2004.

Just to test the stereotype - Have you ever lived, or are you
currently living, in your parents' basement?
No, never. I had a nice, huge
bedroom when I was first gaming, with a pool table in the middle of it. We
role-played in a basement at my dad’s place, the table had multiple stab
wounds and the seats were church pues. I live on the top floor of a flat now, so
it’s kind of the opposite of the basement.

What is your favorite way to spend a weekend? I have a few things I
like to do, if I can accomplish a few in one weekend, I’ve been successful.
Some writing, an RPG or other social gathering (watching a film, Rock Band
party or night on the town), and a wander on the South Downs.

What is your favorite word?
Awesome. Unintentionally. I appear to use it way too much. I’ve evidently been scarred by the 90’s.

What is your favorite time of year, and why? Autumn. It’s still light out late, but not as annoyingly hot. The girls wear good clothing without it being typically summery. The falling leaves make the countryside different and a cup of coffee starts being a lifesaver in the morning, unlike in the summer where it just seems foolhardy.

What was your favorite toy as a child? Star Wars figures. My mum picked them up cheaply, then my brother and I used paints to make them into our own characters. It’d probably make collector types cringe, but we always played our own games rather than Star Wars or GI Joe. Then we made board games using them.

What is your favorite section of the newspaper? The online bit. Yes, I’m probably helping the death of the dead tree papers, but being able to pick and choose what I want to read when I can, especially with the innovations in handheld tech. Being a media junkie I always go there first, followed by tech or book pages, then UK and finally the rest of the world.

Do you have a useless talent that no one else that you know can do? What is it? I have opposable little toes. I can move them independently of the others. I can also open doors with my feet. Unsurprising that I’ve been thought of as a monkey with talents like that.

What are three things you can't live without? Coffee, my netbook “The Netronomicon” and cheese.

What did you want to be when you grew up? A writer. From a week before I was seven years old. A lightning bolt hit. A metaphorical one, that is. Then seeing that people actually wrote films, and wrote comics. It enchanted me that I could do the same.

What is your favorite mode of transportation? On foot. I love walking. I find random places and wander to new places, then pick somewhere else from there and keep going.

What is one thing that you regret that you would go back and change if you could? I’d go back to when I was in Sixth Form (17-18 years old) and cut my hair. The ponytail was a terrible look and my hair goes the wrong way to pull it off.

Tell us about your favorite RPG character that you've
ever played.
Father Talwin, a drunken thief/cleric in 3rd
Edition Dungeons & Dragons. While I wasn’t a fan of the
system, I had fun with being a character who was the opposite
of what I’d normally play. He wasn’t attractive, he stank, drank,
gambled and lived under the group’s cart. He hid in the cart whenever
possible, jumping out only to heal (and a ranged feat stopped him from
having to risk his own hide too much). He wasn’t trusted and that was the
plan. There was another thief in the group ripping them off and they were both
blamed for what the other guy did and Talwin’s behavior certainly encouraged it.

In truth, he was over a thousand years old, having sacrificed his wife for temporary immortality, then doing the same again and again, getting a loved one and killing them. He continued for 47 years until he grew tired and jaded with what he’d done. He quit cold turkey and joined the church.

Unfortunately he took up drinking and lost his church in a game of pick-up-sticks with a stable hand. His life goal was to open a church to his god with casino, bar and grill. The group helped him a lot of the time, too. Then whenever they trusted and liked him a bit more, something else came up to disgust them, like his daughter who was hunting him down, or his surviving ex-wife, an elf noble. Talwin’s best adventure had almost no combat from him, but he and the (actually evil) wizard hid in the cart, fled from everything vaguely threatening, healed the party or provided cover, but spent their whole time as complete cowards, ending up being chased out of a dungeon by a young dragon, burning and screaming. Then they lied to the village about their success, collected their pay and drank most of it away.

What are your favorite RPGs? World of Darkness, for it’s treatment of horror and morality. Alternity out of nostalgia and an X-Files style love of Dark*Matter. Exalted for the ability to ride a shark through the sky into a coliseum filled with cybernetic gorilla warriors and a giant spider. Houses of the Blooded and other FATE-based games where the narrative is more democratic and the story has more of an emphasis than the rules.

What was your first RPG session like? I played Vampire: The Masquerade. I enjoyed Overpower, the Marvel Comics card game, then Magic: The Gathering, then Vampire: The Eternal Struggle. I saw “Vampire: The Masquerade” and thought it was a storytelling card game (like Once Upon a Time would be, much further in the future). My dad bought it for me at Christmas and I had no idea what the giant book was. I used the CCG characters as NPCs and physical markers on a giant map of a city I made from pieces of paper. I ran the game in the back of the book, about a party, but I added things using the CCG characters and the personalities I thought they had. It was extremely free-form and we had no idea of what we were doing, so it petered out, but was enjoyed. I think. I only had two players, one stuck around for a year or two once we found out how the RPGs worked, the other was my brother and he stuck around for almost a decade after that.

What was your WORST RPG session like? Hmm… My TPK (total party kill) in Legend of the Five Rings.. A nice, sociable session ended with a ninja attack. I used too many enemies, pretty much instantly killed one guy, near-killed another, murdered half the NPCs and rather than pull back I decided to gun for it and killed everyone. I recovered the campaign by having them fight through the afterlife and have ‘one last chance’ to redeem their lives. Then I McGuffined their way out of it. It wasn’t terrible in the end, but I still live with the bad deed I did and the misuse of the power I had as a GM. My group won’t let me forget, either.

Who is your all-time favorite person to game with? Damn, that’s a difficult one. I’d say probably Steve One, part of my main gaming group. He’s a narrativist (like me) and will do anything, good or bad, for the sake of drama. He ducks out of the spotlight when needs be instead of fighting madly for it and isn’t scared of hamming it up.

Do you have anything gaming-related to plug? I’ve written three Spycraft adventures making up the Criminal Migrations trilogy (Empty Nest, Poisoning the Well and The Nest), I have upcoming Crafty work and hope to do more freelance material. I’m writing short fiction, a few novels and looking for comic artists so that I can pitch a few things to Marvel, as well as make some independent comics, too.


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