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Fireside Chats with Kat: an interview with Dirigible
From the Avlissian Newsletter, issue #7
Kat: Heya! You ready to go under the hot white lights for an interview?
Dirigible: I've got my good underwear on and everything.
Kat: Perfect! If I ask anything you don't want to answer, we can move to another question.
Kat: I am not asking hard stuff though, promise.
Dirigible: Sure! But I'm pretty happy to answer anything
Dirigible: Hah! So long as it's not math questions.
Kat: I figured but had to mention it in case you like big secrets and all that.
Kat: I would make you do my math homework, if I had some.
Kat: Okay, we are quickly approaching our 15th anniversary for Avlis, which is sort of mindblowing that it has carried on that long.
Kat: What brought you to Avlis and when did you start playing here?
Dirigible: It really is! I was a late bloomer to Avlis. I think I got on board about 2013
Dirigible: I'd always been interested in story telling and RP but could never find a local group for the classic pen and paper experience.
Kat: It seems like you've always been here (that's a good thing too).
Dirigible: I was doing these group story telling RP comics on this website called Tegaki. You'd spend ages drawing replies to each other and before you knew it, you had a (sort of) comic. Some of the people I drew with
started playing on the Isles of the lost servers. So I came to Avlis via Nuvar!
Kat: That sounds like a really cool experience. Drawing stories with each other. Do you still do that?
Dirigible: Sadly it doesn't exist as a live site anymore, just an archive. Which is a shame.
Dirigible: I still draw stories though, but with kids! I volunteer with a children's creative writing charity.
Kat: That is fantastic! Have you taken any inspiration from the stories and put them into your characters on Avlis?
Dirigible: well, certainly it's inspired some in character tales. Some 7 year olds are true Forianites.
Kat: Ha, I would imagine most are a little.
Dirigible: But it's more about just letting go and having fun with the creative process that I get from the kids.
Dirigible: Otherwise I would definitely be remorting Gann into a unicorn.
Kat: He'd make a great unicorn.
Kat: Do you write as well or are you turning their stories into drawings?
Dirigible: I tend to stick to drawing, but I do love words. A big apology to all our euro players who've had to work out what the hell I've been saying.
Kat: That's part of the fun, I'd imagine.
Kat: Gann, is he your first? I know you play a few but do you consider him to be your main these days?
Dirigible: I actually started with a planewalking Gnoll bard-barian called Skrike, but quickly realized I needed a character that came from Negraria.
Dirigible: Avlis as a server has such a rich mind boggling history, I felt I needed to have a character that lived and breathed that stuff.
Kat: I agree, it is almost overwhelming the amount of lore but once you flesh out a story, it starts to fall into place.
Kat: When you made Gann, what was your inspiration for him?
Dirigible: Gann really was one of those characters that kind of wrote himself as I played him. I started out thinking of him as a smuggler. Where I grew up it's not far from Cornwall and Devon, notorious hotspots for all
manner of seaborn larceny.
Kat: Seaborn larceny sounds like a lot of fun.
Dirigible: Especially when it involves as much booze as they used to haul in!
Kat: Has he changed from what you thought he would be when you made him?
Dirigible: Oh, he's changed so much. He started out as a cowardly feckless little shit, and now he's a cowardly feckless shit, who's in part responsible for one of Andrinor's (finest obviously) Orders.
Kat: (second finest)
Kat: *shameless plugs*
Dirigible: Gold is rather shiny!
Dirigible: Shame about all the orcs.
Kat: In your time on Avlis, what has been your favorite plot?
Kat: Small fun or huge world changing, doesn't matter.
Dirigible: Oh that's so hard. But my absolute two faves has to have been Wilsash's mystery box plot from the trade faire. Full of lore and secrets!
Dirigible: I think everyone likes a 'What's in the box?' quest, and this one had multiple boxes!
Kat: Those were great, I love stories that start out simple and take you on a journey.
Dirigible: And the fact they weren't earth shaking, made them all the more special and personal. I love seeing Dm's little hand crafted tweaks and touches.
Kat: I think that's something the current team really excels in, giving little personal items and making the world feel really connected to your character.
Dirigible: Absolutely! There’s not an event that goes by without me wanting to know more about their characters and locations!
Dirigible: But my absolute fav has to be Xiaou.
Kat: He's good people. I hope he comes back.
Dirigible: That he is! Gann got turned into a pumpkin by fey, lived a previous life through a series of vignettes and flashbacks and eventually witnessed the Orcish Cataclysm and the aftermath.
Dirigible: He must have spent hours putting together all the locations and story for a tiny group of us.
Kat: Time travel to witness history is pretty epic.
Dirigible: I guess those two cover the full scale
Kat: What was your biggest "Oh no, what have I done?!" moment? Or are you still waiting to screw up royally?
Dirigible: Errr.... you do know Gann is a Wild mage right?
Kat: I keep trying to forget.
* Kat kids
Dirigible: When he started with AMS 1 in the old days of cowage and instant death, I became conditioned to wince pre-emptively every time he cast a spell.
Kat: I am grateful that you've never cowed me.
Dirigible: But I think the worst moment has to be when Gann made Ronan Ceril fall in love with him.
Kat: Oh my gosh, that must have been beautiful.
Dirigible: The surge message doesn't tell you when it happens. So all of a sudden over the course of a quest he was being nicer and nicer.
Dirigible: Let's just say, he didn't take the break up well.
Kat: That's a shame, I was hoping you were still together.
Dirigible: To be honest I always kinda shipped Gann with our favorite goatee'd Violet.
Kat: You hold on to that dream, one never knows what is ahead.
* Kat assumes you mean Lilly
Dirigible: God, she really needs a tiny evil goatee.
Kat: And a white cat.
Kat: To stroke, evilly.
Dirigible: Too much static. It'd have to be a hairless one!
Kat: Or an easily replaced one, every time it goes BOOM, another appears.
Dirigible: Isn't that just another term for an initiate?
Kat: in the Violet yes.
Kat: Through the years, I'm sure you've had many great encounters. Do you have a favorite PC?
Dirigible: Oh no! That's a truly evil question.
Kat: I am truly evil. How about is there a PC that you will drop everything to log in and play with?
Dirigible: I'd say Taruma.
Kat: She is pretty top notch.
Dirigible: She's got a pretty cute baby nowadays as well. So, y'know, the balance of big bald heads is maintained.
Kat: So she will be back when baby grows a full head of hair?
Dirigible: Fingers crossed
Kat: Do you have a favorite NPC? An easier question, I hope.
Dirigible: My favorite NPC is an odd choice.
Dirigible: But if you've ever met Red's archmage Artorious, he has a little female halfling helper that follows him around everywhere.
Dirigible: I love her!
Kat: Everyone needs a halfling helper.
Dirigible: I assume you just go to Ferrell and help yourself.
Kat: I will test that theory later.
Dirigible: Haha! Good luck on not unearthing some world shattering evil while you do it.
Kat: I am pretty sure that is only underground in Ferrell.
Kat: Never bring a shovel there.
Kat: What would you say was your defining moment on Avlis, one that really sealed your fate here?
Dirigible: I'd say it was actually all the people that were welcoming and helpful when I was still finding my way around, but things really took off once Gann got accepted into the Red and set on fire for the first time.
Joining a guild isn't for everyone, but it really helps you get involved
Dirigible: And more importantly, keep involved!
Kat: Especially the Trust, I know not everyone likes mages but it really is a great way to meet a lot of players.
Dirigible: Mage politics is the dirtiest word in Avlis
Dirigible: Besides Wod
Dirigible: (I love you Cam! Please don't axe me again)
Kat: I die a little when I mistype word as wod in emails.
Dirigible: Hahah, when Avlis moments intrude into real life, it makes me chuckle.
Kat: How are you, the player, most like and unlike your character?
Dirigible: Haha, well you'll be glad to hear I do know soap exists.
Kat: I was sort of hoping it would be "neither of us bathe"
Dirigible: I didn't say anything about using soap did I?
Kat: Ha, true. Knowledge does not mean you use it.
Dirigible: But terrible running jokes and hygiene standards aside, Gann and I both are rather lazy.
Dirigible: We differ when it comes to our means of expressing ourselves. He has no filter - which is awfully fun to play
Kat: Filterless characters are a blast.
Kat: Not that I play any.
Dirigible: It's it pretty hard work
Kat: I imagine it gets you into hot water at times.
Dirigible: Oh hell yes.
Dirigible: But I'm a masochistic player
Dirigible: The more Gann messes up, the more trouble he gets into, the more fun I'm having!
Kat: And I bet the more trouble those around you have too.
Kat: Fun and trouble go hand in hand
Dirigible: Haha - I've not had any complaints yet!
Kat: Is there one character type or class you’ve wanted to play but never have?
Dirigible: I've always wanted to play a weapon master, but I am unable to actually properly plan a character / fit a concept around it that works for me.
Kat: They are a lot of fun, but really do need a plan.
Kat: We share that weakness.
Dirigible: It's a fun weakness to have. None of my characters are very crunchy or optimised.
Dirigible: Flaws can be a fun thing to work around.
Kat: They really are fun, they can become a character trait easily.
Dirigible: What's Gracie's biggest flaw then?
Kat: Ha, she has none.
* Kat kids again
Kat: she is a train wreck at times.
Dirigible: no survivors?
Kat: No loose ends?
Dirigible: Haha that's one way of putting it!
Kat: What is one thing that people would never guess about you?
Dirigible: Well aside from my habit of climbing mountains and dancing to Kate Bush on the top... there are no dark secrets here.
Kat: Did you do the Kate Bush dance for Wuthering Heights?
Kat: And did I somehow miss that?
Dirigible: Haha, it's probably still in Player Pics if you feel a pressing urge to see me flail around a mountain top.
Kat: I do. I really do.
Kat: I will stalk it later.
Dirigible: (( For your viewing pleasure
Kat: *squeals with joy*
Kat: Only a few more to go so I don't take up your whole evening.
Kat: What is one thing you would like to see happen on Avlis in the next 15 years?
Dirigible: Oh man, I'd like to see more of everything!
Kat: (that video is everything)
Dirigible: More great stories, more awesome players and just all the team's love.
Dirigible: So really, more of the same please
Kat: Awesome. And I agree.
Dirigible: Maybe see Tor knock out a god in one punch.
Kat: Xenon? I bet he'd knock out Xenon.
Dirigible: That guy would deserve it!
Kat: Since we were talking about music, how about a random shuffle and list the first five songs that pop up (if you can random shuffle something).
* Kat cheers
Dirigible: Stars and Sons - Broken Social Scene
Dirigible: Put your back N 2 it - Perfume genius
Dirigible: For Emily (wherever I many find her) - Simon and Garfunkel
Dirigible: Gramophondzie - Why don't you
Dirigible: Dead Fox - Courtney barnett
Kat: Well done. A nice mix there!
Dirigible: I'm just glad nothing too embarrassing came up!
Kat: Ha, mine would likely have at least one embarrassing song
Kat: I really appreciate you talking with me. Is there anything you'd like to add for our readers?
Dirigible: It's been a blast! I always love talking to the players behind the characters myself
Kat: I do too!
Dirigible: You guys are all the best! Can't wait to get in game and surge all over you.
Kat: Hah, no cows!
Kat: As an aside, Gann has done a lot to make Gracie cringe less when someone says wild mage.
Dirigible: Haha, I'm glad to hear it!
- Team Member; Retired with Honors
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That video made my day, thank you for playing along with me!
Awesome interview, thanks a lot to both of you
Ice-T on D&D:
"Dungeons & Dragons is some of the most crazy, deep, deep, deep nerd shit ever invented. Every word you're saying is made up. Motherfuckers talk like Yoda.".
Honored to be part of a defining moment!
- Roleplayer of the Year 2015
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Great interview! These are always so interesting.