(Facetiously Anticipated Questions)
Last Update Feb 6, 2003
A: Ordinarily yes. However, I haven’t actually been asked any questions yet, so that wouldn’t be appropriate.
Q: So, you opted against the Cloak of Anonymity, eh?
A: Debated it thoroughly, but yes, I’ve decided against it. I’ve been Tom Huskey a lot longer than I have TheEmerged, after all. Besides, I was raised to believe that an opinion you’re ashamed of is an opinion you shouldn’t have; and while it isn’t strictly true, it’s an easy argument that when you hide behind the CoA it’s because you don’t want your name attached to what you’re saying. The reality of course has more to do with junk mail – and I’ve had some BAD experiences with unsolicited mail – but I’ve decided the opinion issue is more important.
A: As far as I know, I’m no relation. I have to admit based on appearance alone we could be related – and Huskey isn’t exactly a common name. We have a different middle name (mine is Christopher, his middle initial is D). And please, no jokes about how I might be one of his alleged alternate personalities; if he is in fact guilty (and given the nature of his “defense” that’s all but certain), people like him are one of the reasons I support the death penalty.
Interestingly, I discovered him by accident. I was using Google.com to look for an article I’d written under my real name several years ago, and was amazed at how many “hits” the search had. I was shocked when I discovered why.
A: Probably, I get around quite a bit in no small way because of my varied interests and I use this handle everywhere. If the board involves Christianity or gaming, it’s almost certainly me.
A: Anybody that was expecting this to involve closets, I’m happy to disappoint you. Truth is it’s pretty mundane. One of my favorite gaming campaigns I’ve ever run was called The Emergence Campaign, involving the sudden arrival of super-powers to an otherwise normal and “real” world. In this world people with super-powers are said to have emerged; in time they came to be called “emergeds” in the same way Marvel uses the term “mutants” and DC uses “metahumans”. I first used TheEmerged on the HERO System boards; the original intention was that I was the “voice of the emerged”.
Q: You said “first used” – that implies it’s not the only handle you’ve used.
A: You’d be right. My first “handle” was AuntieShaynta, named after my EverQuest character, which I used extensively on the old Whineplay boards. When I cancelled EQ in March 2001, for a while I continued to use it (Fallen Age comes to mind as a board I used AuntieShaynta on). Over time, however, I came to dislike using a female handle; what’s more, after leaving EQ “TheEmerged” took on an additional connotation I found very appropriate.
A: Sure, in fact I have a long-standing policy of “taking turns” when selecting gender in RPG’s, computer or otherwise.
A: No, I know what some people try desperately to MAKE it look like though. Truth be told, despite my Rule Geek tendencies I’m a role-player as well. Is it really any weirder that a guy would role-play a female than that a relatively mundane human would role-play a spell-casting elf who kills orcs? Or an insectoid wearing battle armor that uses laser guns and wears a jet pack?
A: Whoa there, partner! Unless your intention is to offend me, don’t go putting words in my mouth. I disagree totally with the “it’s just a game” argument. You know that lesson Jesus taught about how it wasn’t what goes into a person that corrupts them, but what comes out of them? Gaming, especially role-playing, is all about what is coming out of you.
On my “To-Do” list is to write an article that gives this question a full treatment.
Q: Let me get this straight: you’re a Christian with charismatic leanings (speaking in tongues, healing, that sort of thing) and yet you not only game, but are open about the fact you actually play Dungeons & Dragons?
A: You would rather I played D&D in the closet, perhaps? Truth told D&D, even 3rd Edition, is a distant second choice for me at best (and more likely, barely hanging on to third). I prefer The HERO System by a wide margin. Even when playing D&D, I don’t play in any of the “official” universes like Dragonlance, Forgetten Realms, and so on. I played SAGA in Dragonlance’s Fifth Age, but found that the elements that bother me were still ever-present.
Q: Is it true you’re just a single geek living in his mother’s basement?
A: The parts about living with my widowed mother and being single are correct – but the rest is pure stereotyping. I’m not “mooching”, I’ve been paying more than half of the living expenses for a while now. I also live in the entire house, none of this troll in the basement stuff. It’s not that I couldn’t move out, it’s that there is no legitimate reason for me to do so. If I were married, it would be a different subject – but as it stands, the only “reason” for me to move out would be to appease other peoples’ stereotypes. For the record, I don’t do appeasement, especially when it involves people with ignorant opinions.
Q: Why don’t you have more character listings in your HERO section?
A: Because I’ve accidentally painted myself into a corner. See, my current HERO campaign is a VILLAIN campaign – which means I can’t list the character sheets for any of the heroes or villains of the campaign lest the players learn what they ought not. However, because villain campaigns tend to be at least partially adversarial, I can’t even list the PC’s here because they aren’t supposed to see each other’s character sheets!
As for why I don’t do more theoretical characters or fictional conversions – many of these have been done, both well and often. I’ll probably be adding links to such pages under “Other People’s Stuff” before too long.
Q: Don’t you think the new Fuel Cell option for Charges is an abuse waiting to happen? Just make the players by END Reserves if you’re going to do this…
A: My first actually asked question! Well, sort of, it wasn’t actually forwarded as a question if you want to be technical…
Anyway, if you eliminate that nonsense about each phase only burning up a second (and sorry Mr. Long, but it’s nonsense) Fuel Charges aren’t even close to abusive. Be sure to check the errata for Fifth Edition, as there’s a lot of confusion about how the cost of Fuel Charges is figured (the person who sent this had it wrong, for example). As for END Reserves… I have to give you a soapbox alert. See, when you try and do that you end up making the character PAY to have a DISADVANTAGE. That’s pretty darn ignorant under a point-based system like HERO. There are times when it’s in-flavor; in those cases the flavor argument wins. For example, I feel using END Reserves is a better way to represent a power that takes a long time (>5 min) to power up – the “Extra Time” limitation’s effect is out of whack with how much it actually limits the power. Just my opinion, your mileage may vary and that sort of thing.