Just in case we get some new readers from joining the RPG Bloggers Network, I thought a short introduction would be in order:
Joshua – me, host and primary author of this blog. More-often-than-not GM of our group. Started gaming with the D&D White box back in mumblety-four and been playing, mostly as GM, ever since. A soft touch as a GM, I rarely kill characters outright unless they’ve really asked for it or we’re playing something that demands a high body count. I have a weakness for making up new settings or trying new systems. My longest running setting is the Land of Neng, which I co-created with Russell.
Russell – one of my oldest friends (we went to college together), and guest GM when he’s in town; he lives in Southern California now, but his current circumstances place him near enough to visit about every other week for half the year. For the past few years, mostly GMs D&D 3.5 because it’s easier to find experienced players in his area that way; 4e looks to be changing that… Also likes to make up settings and systems. His Neng characters are Carlys eil Theastorr and Salaomer ein Ringoral.
Elyssa – my wife, and a newbie to RPGs. She mostly prefers SF and modern-day to fantasy, and mostly likes playing kick-ass combat types. Never GMs, and would probably look at me as if I’d gone crazy if I suggested it. Does not yet have a Neng character.
Wendy – hardcore. She LARPs, and is the Baroness of the local SCA realm. Won’t GM, after a disastrous incident that she refuses to speak of to this very day. (Ok, she will if you ask, but my way sounds cooler.) Most easily teased at the table, so she takes a lot of grief over various things her characters have done over the years, only 80% of which is deserved. Has had some World of Darkness stuff published. Her primary Neng character is Merath eil Yahar, Justiciar of the Rose Kingdom.
Doug – rules monkey. His super-power is discovering and exploiting the weak points of any gaming system: RPG, board game, or video game. He’s the Karnak of RPG rules, and my homebrew still hasn’t fully recovered from how hard his first character broke it. For any complicated game, people in our group hand him their character sheets and say “here, crock this.” Occasionally GMs, generally one-or-two shots like his Steampunk StarWars adventure; unfortunately these tend to be when I’m out of town. Likes to put on funny accents for his characters. His primary Neng character is Jacob ein Senekal, Champion of the Rose Kingdom.
Paul – role-player. His characters usually have some obvious personality hook, which he plays to the hilt. The most notable example is probably his sorcerous cat-man Bastriel from my Rose Tower campaign, who can be summed up as “Cat” from Red Dwarf, but his characters can always be relied upon to follow their drives rather than the tactical/strategic optimum for the players’ goals. This is handy when you’re GMing him. GMs himself very rarely, a couple sessions of Exalted here, an Ars Magica campaign that never got off the ground there, mostly from time constraints. His Neng character Bastriel is currently Castellan of the Rose Tower.
Mike – wargamer. Happiest with miniatures, maps, counters, and fiddly military details. Makes his own cardboard tank models and such. Has published some of his own mini historical wargames, and had an adventure for 12 to Midnight published. Cannot make up a name on the fly to save his life (he brings a chart for that). Generally plays Lawful Good characters, no matter what the system or setting is; if he ever has a character who sells out the party to the forces of evil, the other players’ heads would explode. Then they would assume that Doug had somehow mind-controlled him. Can only play every other week, so a lot of the campaigns are deliberately organized so as to be “with Mike” campaigns or “without Mike” campaigns. His primary Neng character is a priest of Baal named Eliezer.
Brian – story guy. The only one likely to write a back-story for one of his characters, and the only one likely to write a post or recap here besides me. GMs once-in-a-while, generally Star Frontiers or a WWII era pulp adventure using my homebrew system. Unfortunately scheduling makes him even less likely to be able to show up than Mike. His primary Neng character is Nathan of Port Autumn, a storyteller.
Dan – another hardcore RPG, LARPer, SCAer. Moved here from Connecticut just to game with us. Oh, sure, he’ll say it was because of his job, but we know the truth… Currently I alternate GMing with him. He runs a Warhammer 40K Inquisition setting using modified Star Frontiers rules (at least, I think that’s what they are), while I run… whatever. His (brand new) Neng character is Kirak, a member of The Pack, a race of wolfmen.
Rob – former primary GM, famous for starting campaigns that never got beyond the first session. His character in Neng was Esau, the Andorran archer. update: Rob points out that he did so run campaigns that went on for more than one session, and that’s certainly true. That’s just not what his former players tease him about. I have a lot of sympathy, because I get the same guff from them if I try a setting and it just doesn’t gel; that’s why I’ve deliberately moved towards running more one-shot or single adventure games, and only promoting them to campaigns if everything goes smoothly and the players are enthusiastic about having more of it.
Rachel – bequeathed with the Peripatetic Pants of Pity for the number of times her character lost his/her clothes in various adventures none of which were my fault at all, I swear. Anyway, I eventually had it that whenever her character (and later, other characters) lost their clothes, the Peripatetic Pants of Pity would magically appear so they could cover themselves. Rachel was probably the funniest gamer I’ve ever played with, and the only one that I can recall where I literally fell off my chair laughing; I may relate that story some time if it’s not already covered in the recaps. I have to check. She moved to Canada, curse her. She’s probably primarily responsible for the game group’s habit of adopting horrible accents.
Scott – generally had the strangest characters. Probably the most memorable is Zobar the Zobarian, who is the one who inadvertently poisoned the children of the idyllic valley with poisoned apples in his feud with the Dire Pig and who eventually gained Cosmic Knowledge and became a babbling, cringing idiot. He moved to Canada with his wife, Rachel.