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Fireside Chats with Kat: an interview with Sunscream

Moderator: Dungeon Masters

Fireside Chats with Kat: an interview with Sunscream

PostAuthor: The Avlissian » Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:58 am

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Fireside Chats with Kat: an interview with Sunscream
From the Avlissian Newsletter, issue #8


Kat: First thanks for allowing an interview! I am sure everyone is curious about you. With our 15th Anniversary fast approaching, this question may tax your memory but what brought you to Avlis and when was that?

Sunscream: After playing NWN when it first came out, I put it away after playing the campaign. I had been following its development and was most excited about the possibilities with multiplayer. Half a year later I started playing random mods with people on gamespy. I read about some PW's and found Avlis on the old NWvault. I remember reading through the old Blackdagger website and the depth of the lore is what attracted me at first. Luckily, this was during the December 2002 Open House, so I didn't have to apply to first jump in.

Kat: How many servers were live when you started? Was it just Mikona back then?

Sunscream: There was Mikona, Wilds, and I believe Elysia was very new. With Wilds being M'Chek and T'Nanshi back then.

Kat: This question may be a tad ridiculous since you play one of the most recognizable names...but what characters do you play most? In case you want to divulge your secret alt is actually Crabapple.

Sunscream: Speaking of people that should be interviewed...

Kat: Ha, right? Maybe in the future.

Sunscream: He started around the same time. But to answer your question, I've had alts here and there but the only PC I put serious time into is Damar Ogdem

Kat: He is pretty much a fixture of Avlis with his story woven into the lore. Does that put any pressure on you, as a player?

Sunscream: I don't think so. I mean no outside pressure anyway. His legacy has sort of grown to the point where I don't want to disappoint him, haha.

Kat: Ha, I can totally see that. I am the same when I play Grace around him. I mutter "don't screw up" a lot. When did you join the team as a DM?

Sunscream: December 2007. That date I had to look up! It's weird though. It feels like so much went on with him as a character before that, but I've been a DM twice as long as I was exclusively a player.

Kat: Wow, that does seem weird. I think you've had a nice balance of play/DM though. Some people disappear after they take the mantle and only DM and that's sad to me. What is your favorite plot that you have been a part of as a DM or as a player? Or both.

Sunscream: I think a DM shouldn't be afraid to play, but if you're going to become a DM that should be your focus.

Sunscream: Favorite plot... hmmm

Kat: Hard question, I know.

Sunscream: As a player, I've been in a lot of plots over the years. I can rattle them off, but you asked the favorite, so I'm going to have to go with the plot wherein Damar attained the status of Immortal. Behind the scenes it's referred to as "The Avlis Carol". It may be obvious to pick a personal plot, but what was great was that it gave some finality (not ~that~ final) to a character arc, and Micah (and Nob) did great research at making it connect to past events. It was so good that despite Damar being rather private I had him hire Thienna to record the events, which can be read in the Thel Library.

Sunscream: Now as a DM...

Kat: That is a great read, too.

Sunscream: But for plots I've run I feel like the Aevaelan/Negerai's Blade plot was the most satisfying. There were a lot of balls to juggle in that plot. Tying it into the Drotid War, and Plethora helping flesh out Aevaelan's brother Aevaeadon. The PC's got to fight in Grantir and witness the death and birth of a God. And it went off mostly without a hitch.

Kat: I am pretty sad I missed that ending, I hear it was epic.

Sunscream: It also got me involved more in the war, in order to finish it. From a team perspective, while players were fatigued with the overall Drotid War, once Plethora, Nob, and I started mapping out the end I feel we got some really great events closing out each front

Kat: Yeah, it did end with some fantastic closers. Wars are a tough thing to carry out. In a similar vein, what was your biggest "Oh noes, what have I done?" moment as a player/DM?

Sunscream: Well I was actually there helping out with the Fall of Elysia. But it looked like there was quite a few DM's dealing with Elysia and the war in general, so I kept my distance afterwards

Kat: *pours some fey wine out for Elysia*

Sunscream: Well as a DM, I try my best to avoid TPK's. But there was one event where the PC's were in Drotid, and Aevaelan's shaahesk soldiers were closing in around them. I was spawning some Shaahesk NPC's and then I thought my mouse was screwy or something because I wasn't seeing any show up.So I just spam clicked. Well... it turned out there was just a massive lag spike

Kat: Ha!

Sunscream: And at once they all popped into existence. There was a big group that day, I don't remember how many survived.

Kat: Did you at least chuckle a little behind the curtain?

Sunscream: I think I was too busy minimizing collateral damage. As a player, my 2nd PC was a female halfling rogue. Now back then we were a bit loose sometimes with what and wasn't IC info. I had her wandering around under Mikona, and when confronted, she claimed she was ~the~ Raven, Orianna.

Kat: Ha!

Sunscream: Well one by one, more ravens started to pop up until my poor little halfling was surrounded.

Kat: Did she survive?

Sunscream: I'm pretty sure she visited whatever her DP was. I wonder if she exists in some ancient vault backup.

Kat: She would be high enough level now to actually be Orianna.

Sunscream: Yeah, someone should do the calculation on rested XP for a PC played last in 2003

Kat: That would be some crazy NPC level skills. When playing Damar, where do you draw your inspiration for him?

Sunscream: Well when I rolled him up I was 17. So the best fantasy I had read at that point was Dragonlance stuff. So the original inspiration was every evil wizard in those books. For anyone who's familiar with them, add an "la" before the m in Damar. As he developed though, I just played him as someone with 0 empathy for anyone. It makes decision making easy.

Kat: A perfect sociopath. Were there times when what Damar would do was tempered by what you as a player thought you should do?

Sunscream: For those first 5 years before becoming a DM, no. I mean, I didn't dryloot good PC's or anything.

Kat: Yeah, he is a different kind of dark.

Sunscream: But if Damar had to kill, he had to kill. Only after becoming a DM did I tone him down a bit. But I don't know how much of that is being a DM or how much of it is Damar being comfortable in his accomplishments. He doesn't need to lash out at petty insults anymore, his legacy is pretty much written.

Kat: With age comes wisdom or something like that.

Sunscream: That said, he can still get riled.

Kat: A riled Damar is a scary thing.

Sunscream: A couple years ago he almost came out of mayhem retirement over what turned out to be a misunderstanding in an IC PM, lol

Kat: Ha! A story you can tell or one of mystery?

Sunscream: Well, I purposely used the past tense when talking about Damar not caring about anyone. He took something as improper intentions concerning his apprentice, so he went into Damar plotting mode.

Kat: Did it get to murder before the misunderstanding revealed itself?

Sunscream: Nah, I would hope that would have had an IC post!

Kat: This is an awkward question to ask since I just said he was a sociopath but do you share any traits with Damar?

Sunscream: I think saying yes to that makes me a suspect in certain murder investigations...

Sunscream: But yeah

Kat: Ha!

Sunscream: we're both wizards! *Puts on his robe and wizard hat*

Kat: Haha, I was just typing that. As our anniversary approaches, what's one thing you would like to see happen on Avlis in the next 15 years?

Sunscream: Do you mean from an RL perspective?

Kat: Yeah.

Sunscream: Well in 15 years, I would hope we're all still here. I'd like to see us reach out a bit more maybe. I feel like there's an untapped audience for the world.

Kat: I agree on that, there is definitely an untapped audience of roleplayers

Sunscream: These newsletters have been doing good for reeling people back. But I'm sure there's plenty of brand new people out there that would jump on once they had a good idea of what we're about.

Kat: And our staying power. 15 years with one game is a long time and it still feels fresh, at least to me.

Sunscream: That's the power of an immersive world.

Kat: It really is, it is malleable too.

Sunscream: If your favorite game had constant patches and story updates you'd probably keep playing it

Kat: I think your character is a good example of that, I mean he is an immortal wizard with a flying tower. I am sure you didn't see that coming back in 2003.

Sunscream: add having a direct effect on it and I don't know what more you can do with a game

Kat: Or maybe you did, since you are also a wizard. A couple more questions then I will let you get on with your day. What keeps you busy outside of Avlis?

Sunscream: I've been working a very wacky schedule, long shifts and all over the place. Which explains a few stagnating plots. But don't worry... I may just have to force things back into gear for the anniversary.

Kat: Hate when work gets in the way of fun, but I guess that is inevitable.

Kat: Your return is always enjoyed. What is one thing that people would never guess about you? Obviously we all guessed you are a RL wizard.

Sunscream: My favorite music is gangster rap

Kat: That is definitely one that is not guessable. Do you dress the part? :)

Sunscream: You mean when not in robes and wizard hat?

Kat: I think you could do both.

Kat: speaking of untapped markets...gangster wizard rap

Sunscream: I think there's some stuff pretty close to that out there

Kat: I will have to delve into that world later and see. One last random question. What is the last thing you youtubed?

Sunscream: That's entrapment! I looked it up for you, lol

Sunscream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZCIIi3t6zM

Kat: Ha, I know! I am cruel but I learned it from the best.

Sunscream: I have some final thoughts

Kat: Is there anything else you want to add before we close out the interview?

Kat: oh perfect.

Kat: We can then move on to the swimsuit portion.

Sunscream: lol

Sunscream: Your first question was about when I joined. The first time I logged in was during the day. I wandered around the City Gate District in Mikona. No one was on and I logged off after ten minutes.

Kat: That's not a great way to end your interview...

Sunscream: Later in the evening though I logged on, and right there were Melonius Mennallin, Peregryne Twostep, and Talman Grumb. And that got me into the world.

Kat: I think that is the magic of Avlis, a chance meeting can change everything.

Kat: As an aside, Damar is likely the PC most responsible for a lot of what Grace is today so you returned the favor.

Sunscream: Anyone reading this that's been away from Avlis, I hope you come back. But not just randomly on an empty server. Look for an event going on join that. Hopefully it will spark something.

Kat: And empty servers can fill up fast if someone logs in.

Kat: Avlis is extremely inclusive lately which is great.

Kat: This was great. Thanks for spending the morning with me.

Sunscream: No problem!

Kat: Maybe we can do it again at the next 15.

Kat: :)

Sunscream: When Grace is the Dragon Queen of Khanjar Kuro?

Kat: Exactly.

Kat: And Damar is the new God of Magic.

Kat: Don't tell Andrinor.

Sunscream: No comment

Kat: Ha

Kat: Enjoy your day!

Sunscream: You too
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Re: Fireside Chats with Kat: an interview with Sunscream

PostAuthor: Katroine » Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:01 pm

I just wanted everyone to know that he totally had that link bookmarked.
:D
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Re: Fireside Chats with Kat: an interview with Sunscream

PostAuthor: Grunt » Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:43 pm

Katroine wrote:I just wanted everyone to know that he totally had that link bookmarked.
:D


The White Kobold probably sings it to Damar as a lullaby.

Awesome interview!
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Re: Fireside Chats with Kat: an interview with Sunscream

PostAuthor: Xaila » Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:45 pm

Well I owe someone $5 now.

Let's hijack Grace for a playdate at your place sometime...maybe play some Scrabble with the white kobold and the apprentice?
We're all burning out, fading away
Like the passing light of day...

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