Features > Tell Me About Your Character > Perrin Rynning

Your name: Perrin Rynning. Never really had a nickname that stuck, though my Kenpo Karate instructor gave me a “spirit name” of “Gumby”, since I was usually the most physically flexible student in the class.

Location: San Francisco Bay Area (northeast quadrant)

Age: Closing in on 41

Sex: Male

Family: As of this writing, both my mother and father are alive. I am the oldest of three children; next was my younger brother, followed by our sister. I have a girlfriend, but we are not engaged.

Religion: Raised non-denominational Protestant Christian. Nowadays I lean toward Taoism with a side-order of Buddhism and a few dashes of paganism for flavor.

Political Party/Affiliation: Absent a better-refined (and polically-viable) alternative, I've voted “Democrat” for most of the last few years.

Education: Made it through an Associate of Arts in Japanese.

Hobbies/Activities: Creative writing, Facebook games, bicycle riding around new and unfamiliar areas, designing my multi-million-dollar dream house (at least five very large floors (two of which are underground), and all kinds of big-boy toys.

Community Service: None at this time. Previously, I worked at agencies that provided in-home support services for the developmentally-disabled or the physically infirm.
Just to test the stereotype - Have you ever lived, or are you
currently living, in your parents' basement?
 Nope. To be
fair, my parents have lived in seven or eight different places in my
lifetime. Of those, only one was a house that actually had a

What is the most frightening thing you've ever done?  Told
my girlfriend-to-be that I thought she was hot, and couldn't let her
get out of my life without telling her that. Physical risks mean next to
nothing to me, while social risks are disproportionately scary for me.

Which of your accomplishments are you the most happy with?  Getting an Associate of Arts degree.

What is your favorite word?  “Visionaries”, specifically because of the 1980s cartoon as well as the notion of a group of visionary people working together impresses me far more than one charismatic leader at the head of an otherwise ordinary group.

How many languages do you speak?  I should say that I understand a smattering of Japanese, and a slightly smaller amount of French through formal study in school.

What is your favorite time of year, and why?  The early parts of spring, when the weather is still cool but warming; I associate the time with new beginnings and change.

What is your most prized physical possession?  A modern-day version of a portable lap-desk, the kind of thing that anyone from before the 1980s would think of if you said “laptop”.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?  My fear of my own passions.

Did you have any embarrassing nicknames as a kid? “Longjohn”, because I apparently grew to my current height of 6'3” before I hit my teens.

What was your favorite toy as a child?  A glow-in-the-dark “flying disk”. I used it to fight my nightmares even before I saw “Tron”.

What makes you cry?  Any story or song about redemption.

What is your favorite section of the newspaper?  “Weird News” from around the world; the stuff that makes you question the sanity of the participants, or the writer.

Do you have a useless talent that no one else that you know can do? I applaud very loudly. On one occasion, I stopped a standup comedienne in her tracks and she commented on it. On another (less proud) event, a co-worker claimed that I gave her a headache; she was sitting at least eight feet away at the time.

What are three things you can't live without? Atlantis-brand retractable pens with blue ink, at least one blank notebook or journal, and (most of all) my girlfriend.

If you could have one superpower - or be one superhero - which power would you pick, or which hero would you be?  One superpower: the ability to travel to alternate universes, with the ability to “see where I'm going” before I actually go to the next alternate universe.  One superhero: I wanted to be a Green Lantern. I didn't want to be Hal Jordan, but Perrin Rynning, Green Lantern of whichever sector needed a ring-slinger.

What did you want to be when you grew up?  A Scientist. Not any particular type of scientist, but the ultimate generalist. Sort of like Buckaroo Banzai, though that movie came out when I was 14 and (mostly) concentrating on other things.

What is your favorite mode of transportation?  Powered watercraft. Preferably a submarine, if possible, though I'd rather not spend too much time beneath the waves unless I'm working. Bicycling is also my favorite exercise.

If you could pick any other time period to live in - including the future - which would it be, and why?  As entertaining as it might prove to re-locate back to the 1980s to really appreciate the “style-over-substance” vibe from that era (not to mention picking up all of the cool toys and other stuff that I drooled over as a child), I would rather live in the future, when humanity has established permanent, self-supporting habitats under the ocean, on the moon, or on Mars.

What is one thing that you regret that you would go back and change if you could?  Losing track of all the friends I made at all my schools. My family moved around an awful lot. Specifically, I would have gotten their mailing addresses and spent most of my allowance money on envelopes, paper, pens and stamps to keep in touch with them all in that bad old pre-Facebook stone-age way.

What is the one thing you want to do before you die?  Actively participate in making the role-playing game adaptation of a series of novels (or a television show) I have created.

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?  The island is somewhere equatorial, specifically to make it more attractive for space-elevator construction. The flag displays the sea below, the land between and the stars above, with bridges connecting the life on all of them.

What would you do to prepare if you knew that you were going to be sent into the universe of your favorite RPG?  If I was going into the world of “Cyberpunk v.3”, I would bone up on oceanography and marine technology in preparation for joining the Reef. If I was going into “CyberGeneration”, I would study revolutionary movements
and subversive activities, with an eye toward helping build and maintain
networks of “J-Parks” across the continent  If I was going into “Mage: the
Awakening”, I could only study library science and try to work my way into
a Mysterium-run archiving company, while constantly praying to Awaken.

Tell us about your favorite RPG character that you've ever played. So far, my favorite character was “Crescent Dragon/Shadow Tiger”, a martial artist in a Champions campaign. Quite a lot of the character concept was lifted whole-cloth from Rumiko Takahashi's “Ranma Nibunnoichi”.

The character's civilian identity “Huang MacDougall” was a Chinese/Scottish martial artist who made his way to the “Plain of Cursed Springs” for training and managed to fall into a pond in which a kangaroo had drowned many hundreds of years ago. However, after a quick jaunt back in time to ancient China (and after the game-master had seen a few episodes of “Ranma”), Huang's alternate self underwent a rather radical revision. Aside from helping invent tea while back in the past, Huang also fell in love with a local Chinese princess… but could not bring her forward in time. Despondent, the princess drowned herself in a small pond. The very same pond in which the kangaroo had drowned in the original timeline, in fact. Now possessed of a female alternate form, Huang took the “working name” of Shadow Tiger and somehow acquired a suit of “fighting togs” that changed color and cut when hit with cold water (to match the character's *cough* altered proportions), though the campaign ended before the gamemaster could toss in a few references to the fact that when she drowned, the princess had been pregnant.

What are your favorite RPGs?
White Wolf's World of Darkness, both old and new. Specifically, both versions of “Mage”, and “Promethean”, West End Games' TORG, R.Talsorian Games' Cyberpunk and Cybergeneration, and Champions

What was your first RPG session like? I tried to dungeon-master a blue-box D&D game once. I had no idea what I was doing, and the one player I had was equally clueless. I stayed involved in the hobby but didn't actually play again for several more years.

What was your WORST RPG session like?  I think the most embarrassing session was when I tried to run a first-edition “Top Secret” game with a player who was much older than me but who had very little interest in the game or the genre… and I still had very little idea of what I was doing. It couldn't have lasted more than five minutes before, by mutual agreement, we decided to do something else.

Who is your all-time favorite person to game with? My friend Jason Sinclair. He has been a much more dedicated gamer than myself for many years, and has many skills as both a player and a game master. My girlfriend, Lee Ann D'Amato, is a world-class improv-actress would likely be a phenomenal player if I could find a system and setting to her liking.


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