Avlis Community Interview : JollyOrc

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Avlis Community Interview : JollyOrc

Post by ninja » Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:39 pm

JollyOrc and his awesome sideburns

JollyOrc sits down comfortably, checks that there's a glass of water and other refreshments, shoos away the makeup lady

ninja taps mic and adjusts his seat

ninja: So. I finally have the legend that is JollyOrc. You have been on Avlis a long time. The first question, what brought you to Avlis.

JollyOrc: Truth to say, I can't actually remember what brought me to Avlis itself. Probably the NWVault entry, but it might have been just browsing the NWN server list too. Once logged in, I did know though that Avlis was exactly the thing I was looking for when I bought NWN in the first place... A multiplayer environment as close to pen and paper as possible. The funny thing is that I bought NWN early enough to be a 1%er probably. And I would have been, if it weren't for my blasted computer not being able to handle NWN. So the game basically sat on the shelf for half a year or so, until I finally got a new rig together.But when I finally managed to log in, I was hooked. I didn't even start on the single player campaign, but spent way too many hours on Avlis instead.

ninja: I admit, I haven't done much of the single player stuff either. What other worlds have you played on?

JollyOrc: I dipped my toes into a fair number, but most of the time, the visits were too short to leave a good imprint. Toril comes to mind, as well as most of the spin-offs created at some point by other Avlis players. There was also a Ravenloft server I tried out, but felt too much like a Legion of Darkness self-help meeting to be honest. In the end, I'm not ashamed to admit it: Avlis is the only world I've really played on for a longer amount of time.

ninja: :) Don't be ashamed! Let your inner Avlissian go. What keeps on on Avlis?

JollyOrc: Habit mostly. *laughs* Considering how rarely I actually fire up NWN these days (or any other game to be honest), it is a mixture of the comfort of donning an old well-worn pair of shoes and the excitement of always finding something new and interesting when going out in them. I really love the setting and the world lore (and own the printed sourcebook), and I still stumble over things I didn't know yet, or aspects of the world or the characters there that really surprise me in a good way. Well, and I'm too lazy to get up to date with a new setting. I'm barely keeping up with the various settings I need to be familiar with for pen and paper gaming after all. :).

ninja: What characters do you play on Avlis?

JollyOrc: There is a handful of them in my vault, most of them played very rarely: Gerald Narfin - chaotic changeling without set persona, Mor - the psychotic tyedu sorcerer who actually worships the Gentleman, Surren Darben - suave cleric of The'ton and my main of course, Janur da Medican - former artist, inkeeper evil overlord, regent baron and now Mikonas resident grumpy grandpa.

ninja: Oh Janur. Such a fun character. What inspires you to play him like that?

JollyOrc: Like a grumpy grandpa, or in general?

ninja: both!

JollyOrc: ok, I start with the general then and narrow it down: Like many first Avlis characters I guess, Janur started out basically as a copy of an existing pen and paper character of mine. Who was this dashing bardic adventurer, always jumping into danger, rescuing damsels in distress and doing exciting fun stuff. Avlis Janur was supposed to be just that too, and he would have been that, weren't it for just one small detail. I sucked at keeping doing combat within the NWN interface, at least without pausing every few seconds to analyze the situation. So instead of being a dashing hero, Janur got his ass handed every. single. time. Even single crop rats did him in. I was about to throw the towel on the character, but before I managed to do that, I got him stuck in conversation with a bunch of other characters, where Janur promised to do something. So I couldn't just abandon him, because I had committed to something, and didn't want to be rude to the other players. That is why, next time I logged in, I got in with Janur again, he got his ass handed to him *again*, I got frustrated and just out of spite I had him swear some oath to Mikon that he wouldn't go into combat again, period. Instead, I kept to the sidelines, doing the "reporter thing", occasionally helping folks out with bandages and all that. At the same time, I was discovering the fun that is Photoshop. I'd play with the filters, touch up some pictures, and eventually, just for laughs, posted up a photoshopped screenshot claiming that it would be some sketch of my character. Apparently I had hit a nerve there, because nearly every noteable character of that time came to Janur and actually paid him lots and lots of gold so I would take some time with them, emote how Janur sketched and then took a screenshot that I'd photoshop. I wasn't even very good at it to be honest, but I was the first one to do it on that scale, and soon enough Janur was a well-known and most of all rich character. At the same time, I had finally understood most of the power dynamics of the various guilds on Avlis. The mage orders had just formed, there were the "good guys", the "bad guys", and a bunch of people just trying to get ahead somehow. And when Jerry Cornelius (a character name that would be stamped out within seconds today) made the suggestion that Janur should make tasteful portraits of Avlis celebrities "in the nude", I fell in with the bad guys. Which was a blast to be sure. From there, it was a very slippery but fun slide to getting more and more evil, which I mostly explained away as Janur providing for his family and all that. Eventually, things caught up on Janur, to the point where I simply couldn't keep him a closetted evil overlord, but he wasn't mighty enough in levels by far to be openly evil either. I took a hiatus, and then went to the long and hard way to reform the character to at least being neutral. So that's where he is now. Not because anything of that was planned, but because I kept trying to have a character who could participate in the things that were happening around him, but who would be at least somehow consistent. I hope I managed to do that. The grumpy grandpa is just the culmination of all that - he's probably the oldest living human on Avlis, some random never-being renamed NPCs excluded. And I still can't properly fight in NWN (although I got better), so Janur does the single thing that is consistant for his backstory and my abilities: Being the grumpy old man he is.

ninja: What would you say your defining moment on Avlis is?

JollyOrc: I can't say what exactly the in-game moment was anymore, but at some point I realized that a powerful character on Avlis wasn't defined by the level, stats or equipment. That helped to a certain degree of course, but the main thing that made and still makes a character important on Avlis is how important others think he or she is. There were quite a few folks who joined, got to level 20 fast, and were basically still blank faces who no one really cared of. At the same time, there were really important characters whose opinion really mattered, who could influence the larger plotlines. Just because they were roleplayed really well. Those were people like Kaelyn MacCaddor, Tristan Common, Jerry Cornelius, Narins Grans... The moment I realized that, I knew I was home.

ninja: wow. all of those were before my time. you have done some sekret ebul stuff in the past. care to talk about it OOCly?

JollyOrc: Sure, most of it has become open IC knowledge anyway.

ninja: you were the leader of a few secret evil organizations. how did you decide to put them together, and what advice would you give newer players with aspirations of world domination?

JollyOrc: To be honest, I inherited them, or rather just took the power from others, instead of putting them together myself. But the most important thing an aspiring evil overlord has to do is this: Make things happen. People don't join your evil guild for the lure of easy gold, or the glory of the stylish minion uniforms. They join a guild because it is a good way to get involved into plots. But even if you have a few DMs helping you out, there isn't always a big plot to be worked on when people log on. So it is the guild leaders job to ensure that there are things to do. Ideally, these things are evil and nasty stuff of course. Order the minions to kill something, or to spy on people. Generally, you want to be a well-informed evil overlord anyway, that way you can come up with new plot hooks. And work on your reputation. Kill a baby or two, or at least let people think that you do. Evil characters need to be kept in line, most of them like to be contrary out of principle, so they need to be put into their place. The problem with that is, that while your evil overlord needs to put the minion into place, you as a player don't want to annoy the other player. Communicate, set things up ahead, and be a good sport.(I admit to have cheated from time to time, basically inviting a player to have his character do something provokative so I could put him into place, then give his character some special "punishment mission", which turned out to be something nice oocly.) All in all, being evil needs a lot of playing nice, but the reward of occasionally foiling the goody two-shoes and pulling off something big is it worth imho.

ninja: How did you pick your avatar name JollyOrc?

JollyOrc: I did what every good pirate did, I stole it. In this case out of an old White Dwarf issue. And like the good Lorewarden I am, I actually got the relevant part of the magazine scanned in and online.


JollyOrc: note that the early JollyOrc was spelled differently (THE JOLLY ORK) which I found a bit cumberesome though in the long run. Also, I redid the logo over time. so I wouldn't be in conflict with Games Workshops copyright lawyers, I've heard they're pretty fierce, even Khorne is afraid of them, and he's the Blood God!

ninja: hahaha. Do you find it difficult to play on an English world? You speak very well by the way.

JollyOrc: I type very well, that's a difference. But given a bit of warning and practice, I manage to speak easily enough I guess. But no, I don't find it difficult at all. Back in school, I was in the advanced english class, and I've read most books in english since then. (And I read a lot. Not as much as a librarian maybe, but I'm pretty close.) Most of my vocabulary comes from a plethora of fantasy and science fiction books. Oh, and RPG books. While there are a lot of rulebooks and sourcebooks translated to german, the majority of the available material back then was in english. That makes it actually pretty easy to play on a fantasy setting by now, I learned all the right words already :) (you might have noted that the scan is from the english language White Dwarf. There wasn't a german variant of that for a long time. And now I'm sounding like my grandpa. "We didn't have ANYTHING!")

ninja: And that is how Janur is now grumpy. It all makes sense. What's on your 5 song playlist?

JollyOrc: all time favourite or right now? I'd say favourite-right-now is this, unsorted though: Sharp Dressed Man from ZZ Top, A Boy named Sue by Johnny Cash, Sumisu by Farin Urlaub, My Clock Explodes by Aeon Now, Really Rockabilly by Brian Setzer. oh, and Bohemian Rhapsody, just because.

ninja: hehe. sounds like you have a wide assortment of music tastes. what do you do for work?

JollyOrc: I'm an IT Consultant. So, basically an expensive Geek for Hire. Sounds more exciting than it actually is ;).

ninja: Ooh. A Geek! We are all excited about geekdom. What exactly do you do?

JollyOrc: The fancy terms are something like "IT Security and Identity & Access Management Project Manager". Generally, I advise companies what to do to have bit safer computers and how to make sure that those who sit in front of a running program are actually those who they claim to be. I also do a bit of database programming and all the related stuff.It can be fun, but also a bit frustrating, especially if you get to work in large companies that make glaciers appear to outrun them.

ninja: A securty geek. how sexah! What is something that has nothing to do with gaming that people would find interesting about you?

JollyOrc: I've just started to learn proper Rock'n'roll dancing. You know, the acrobatic kind, where you toss the girl around. Except we're not quite at the tossing-the-girl-around bit yet. Is that interesting?

ninja: definitely! Thanks for taking the time out to do this interview JollyOrc. Any final words?

JollyOrc: Get the stiff Murrays grease for the hair, that's easier to maintain.

ninja: BOOM!

JollyOrc: now, that's timing: A cola glass bottle just exploded in the kitchen... *mops up delicious cola*

JollyOrc looks at startled cats standing in the mess, puzzled why it happened...

JollyOrc is a wise man. Leave him a note, or ask him a question in his Ask JollyOrc Thread
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Re: Avlis Community Interview : JollyOrc

Post by Grunt » Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:46 pm


The cats did it. Cats are evil.

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Re: Avlis Community Interview : JollyOrc

Post by JollyOrc » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:03 pm

Grunt wrote::prost:

The cats did it. Cats are evil.
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Re: Avlis Community Interview : JollyOrc

Post by Brayon » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:55 pm

Excellent interview!

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Re: Avlis Community Interview : JollyOrc

Post by solitude_peace2 » Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:11 pm

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Re: Avlis Community Interview : JollyOrc

Post by TheSassyStarshine » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:00 pm

A wise wise man!.. * points down at new signature quote*
"All in all, being evil needs alot of playing nice, but the reward of foiling the goody two shoes and pulling off something big is worth it."
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Re: Avlis Community Interview : JollyOrc

Post by Anomandari » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:38 pm

A great read - and a great player :-)
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Re: Avlis Community Interview : JollyOrc

Post by silverfields2 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:35 am

The Sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent upon it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.
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Re: Avlis Community Interview : JollyOrc

Post by Manuel the White » Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:32 am

Thanks, JO. Interesting insights into the infamous character.
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Re: Avlis Community Interview : JollyOrc

Post by Darkfire » Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:52 am

A great interview, though it is to be expected by someone with sideburns like that.
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Re: Avlis Community Interview : JollyOrc

Post by Gorgon » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:20 pm

Aw man. No names and details from the "well-informed evil overlord" days? I was looking forward to some juicy spoilers! :P
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Re: Avlis Community Interview : JollyOrc

Post by Hamlet » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:55 pm

Awesome sideburns > You
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Re: Avlis Community Interview : JollyOrc

Post by JollyOrc » Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:00 pm

Gorgon wrote:Aw man. No names and details from the "well-informed evil overlord" days? I was looking forward to some juicy spoilers! :P
Feel free to put any specific questions to the Ask JollyOrc Thread :twisted:
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