Fireside Chats with Kat: GunnJ

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LadyAwesome
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Fireside Chats with Kat: GunnJ

Post by LadyAwesome » Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:41 am


Fireside Chats with Kat:
GunnJ


Kat:
First, welcome to the Fireside chat.

GunnJ:
Thanks for having me.

Kat:
I appreciate you agreeing to the interview, too!
First question, very easy. What brought you to Avlis?

GunnJ:
I had a few online friends where we swapped game titles, and NWN came up. But then one particular friend pointed out persistent worlds. And he is to blame for all of it.

Kat:
Do they play Avlis as well?

GunnJ:
He did, yes.

Kat:
How long ago was it that you decided to join our little world?

GunnJ:
Oh my... I would have to check on the boards! How long has it been?!

Kat: I bet a while, time flies!

GunnJ:
.. 2007?!

Kat: So it has been a while!

GunnJ:
June 4th, even!

Kat: Just had your anniversary!
(editor’s note: It is June 10th)


GunnJ:
I still remember pattering my way round the canopies, delivering mirrors.

Kat:
Imagine all the bad luck had you dropped any from that height!
So, this one may seem like an easy question as I think most people know you but just in case, what character or characters do you play?

GunnJ:
My primary character has gone by several names over the years, but her floaty name is Thienna Relimion.

Kat:
She is a great character. Grace had enjoyed the times they got to spend together in the last year or so.

GunnJ:
Thank you

Kat:
Now that I have given you the easy ones...
It gets hard from here on out.
What is your favorite plot that you’ve been involved in and why?

GunnJ:
I have a very hard time choosing just one plot, I have enjoyed so many different plot elements and bits and pieces...

Kat:
That is a tough one, I always feel a little guilty asking it. Just a little.

GunnJ:
And there are so many that have been so incredibly detailed! and then tie into other plots, and then an NPC from one plot becomes the focus for another
But there is one plot that set my PC's feet on the path that took up 10 odd RL years

Kat:
That is a long plot!

GunnJ:
Oh, the plot was only about 3 weeks, but what it did to Thienna, that lasted the 10 years and continues
It was a plot from the Drotid war, where the Archmage of the Red Order was kidnapped by Drotid forces.

Kat:
Were you involved in the rescue?

GunnJ:
Yes, and even more so. The Archmage is Artorius Illurien, and he is a fatespinner/diviner who lives, who sees, three days into the future

Kat:
He is a great NPC.

GunnJ:
The rescue group had gathered to what we thought was a fairly straightforward rescue event but instead! NPC's whisked us to ... I think it was 7 years in the future. Elysia had fallen, Le'Or was a burned-out crater, 2/3rds of M'Chek was overrun.
The last leaders of the resistance were hiding on a tiny flying ship... Protected from scrying by a single diviner...
And at that point in the event!!! I had to leave.

Kat:
Oh no!

GunnJ:
"I had promised to help a friend with a thing" as often happens
So the DM asked if I could give him about 10 minutes more
I said all right
Icly, an NPC escorted me to the cabin where the diviner was, so my PC could "help"
And there, standing in front of Thienna... was... Thienna.

Kat:
Wow, I can see how that would change your life's path!

GunnJ:
She was called the Sapphire Seer and she kept the baddies from scrying on our group, and all that we did, and I was... Awestruck? Gobsmacked? wow.
But then I had to leave! With this hanging over me! An incredible cliffhanger.

Kat:
Who ran that event? It has a Sunscream and/or Nob feel to it.

GunnJ
Yes, it was Sunscream

Kat:
The story continued because the cities stand and you are still going. Did you work to change that future?

GunnJ:
Seeing Aratelda Rinthon and Deth in the same room, plotting an attack, together.
I need to learn to take more screenshots
I was able to get back to the event just as it was ending our group saved the day, and saved that future, and then... My future self, so drained by the work she did... died at Thienna's feet.

Kat:
That's heavy. I can see why it was the catalyst.

GunnJ:
For years, that stayed with me.
Me and my PC, us both

Kat:
That is one of the things I love about Avlis, the world feels so very alive at times that it does stick with you.

GunnJ:
I became so involved in trying to find the words to describe fatespinning, and divining, that I started hand spinning my own yarn
I now own three spinning wheels, wait, four, I gave in and bought one more for Christmas

Kat:
Like the loom of the fates, all the lines connected.
he next question is easier. Well, it can be easier. In all these years of playing, what was your biggest 'OH NO, what have I done” moment?

GunnJ:
Erm... I think I have one of those about once a year.

Kat:
Ha, only once?

GunnJ:
Hah! So true
The only one that I will admit to!


Kat:
Were there any that stick out as "this may have been bad, really bad" type moments?

GunnJ:
Let’s see...
The most recent was this, a DM was trying to give me some needed information through intuition
and... I totally and completely misread what was happening, and what the DM said


Kat:
Oh no!

GunnJ:
and did the extreme opposite instead.

Kat:
Ha!

GunnJ:
And I could PHYSICALLY HEAR the DM facepalming.

Kat:
When did you realize it was the wrong way?

GunnJ:
When I scrolled up, and re-read what had been written

Kat:
Did you have to backpedal and say oops or just go with it?

GunnJ:
Well, first I had to get up and walk away from the keyboard for a moment
...because there was no going back

Kat:
I am laughing but I know it had to be painful.

GunnJ:
And then went with it
And later, apologized profusely and with great sincerity to Sarmanos' PC Archibald.

Kat:
Did it end poorly for him?

GunnJ:
It cost him, yes.

Kat:
I am sure he was a good sport about it, at least OOCly.

GunnJ:
*makes a note to apologise to him again*
Archibald is Thienna's cornerstone

Kat:
He is her in-game husband for many years now, right?

GunnJ:
Yes, I should check on that anniversary as well!

Kat:
Time-y Wimey, in-game years are forever!
This next one will redeem your oh no moment. What are you most proud of, Avlis wise?

GunnJ:
The building of Nor'Seere, and the friendships that have created.

Kat:
Did you build the areas as well or just the society around it? It is quite extensive in both regards.

GunnJ:
Both

Kat:
Wow, great work. It is a beautiful place.

GunnJ:
Thank you
It's a great honor, both in-game and RL to have done that, and roam around.

Kat:
I have detailed notes written down about Nor'Seere so I do not mess up the royal lines.
It is so rich in history. You all built something great there.

GunnJ:
Oh, I know! I lost my notes once and was franticly checking old hard drives and USB drives
hank you, though the truly hard work goes to Pleth

Kat:
She is a gem.
Speaking of gems...Do you have a favorite NPC among all the diverse and delightful creations on Avlis?

GunnJ:
Oh my... let us see.

Kat:
I know that is a tough question.

GunnJ:
I use my in-game journal to make notes during game-time
and it’s now so big I have to pull it up in notepad, just to search through it all.

Kat:
That is the best way to remember all you have learned about people/NPCs.

GunnJ:
First and foremost would have to be Thienna's surprise brother, Hebashian

Kat:
A surprise brother is great.

GunnJ:
I was not expecting him, nor did I ask OOC about Thienna getting a family, and then!

Kat:
As you can imagine, I am big on the family in-game.

GunnJ:
Ohh yes!
Just like fate, it binds us together

Kat:
It adds such depth as well.

GunnJ:
A very close second would have to be all the spiritkin that Plethora introduced

Kat:
So many spiritkin!
That is a big second.

GunnJ:
Especially Time - I'm having a hard time wording this
Time - (the spiritkin, not timey-winey) who is family

Kat:
I imagine Time, as a fatespinner, would definitely have a draw for you.

GunnJ:
Very much so

Kat:
On that same train of thought, and equally as hard if not more so, do you have a favorite PC?

GunnJ:
No, I have many, numerous, scores!
A plethora! (sorry Pleth! ducks)

Kat:
That is a really hard one to answer for everyone.


GunnJ:
Archibald Thel is in the rank of his own, without compare

Kat:
That should make up for whatever you needed to apologize to him for.

GunnJ:
but after him - aww, I hope so
But seriously, there are so many characters, some my PC does not interact with because of IC reasons, but I am still... impressed, entertained, and so on...

Kat:
Those are the two questions that rarely get a single answer from anyone which I think is great.

GunnJ:
and Fellock.

Kat: Of course, Fellock.
I believe we already answered this in another question, but in case it was not the time travel Sunscream event, I will ask it. What would you say your defining moment on Avlis was?

GunnJ:
That was the first, yes. I've had many moments that have added nuance and depth since then. And now recently I had my second, truly defining moment. All but a scrap of Thienna's magic, her sorceressness, was scoured away.
And she has had to completely rebuild herself.

Kat:
That has to be a strange feeling, but with the possibility of refresh OOC, the IC part is just amazing in the transformations.
Is it a secret what she is becoming or do you care to share?


GunnJ:
When it happened, Thienna was so overwhelmed, she openly talked about it
Trying to process that sort of thing for her, it was gut-wrenching
She is now a dedicated cleric of Cha'reth, with a side of Arcane Archer.

Kat:
I can imagine, as magic on Avlis is unique and if you want it to be, it is such a part of a character.

GunnJ:
I was trying to balance out how someone as, well, delicate? as Thienna could somehow turn into a shield-maiden type cleric right up in the thick of the fight.
And I could not quite work that out, so the Arcane Archer is the balance

Kat:
Still the magical side even if diminished.


GunnJ:
Yes, especially with the certain feats that AA get, is like the whisper of fatespinning that Thienna once had.

Kat: Classes change but the history and nuances of a PC stay.

GunnJ:
Just so

Kat:
Changing gear ever so slightly, how are you, the player, most similar and dissimilar to your character?

GunnJ:
I am very much an introvert, but for most intents and purposes, Thienna is very much, not.

Kat:
I am often surprised by the social Avlis players who are introverted.

GunnJ:
For myself, I think it is because there is this extra layer of a second skin, so to speak.
And also having the time to try to choose what to type! That’s huge.

Kat:
I get that. We are much more vulnerable in the real world than on Avlis and even Avlis OOC.
Yes. The pause we do not get in real conversation.

GunnJ:
Very much so

Kat:
Too bad we cannot just hold up a finger and process our thoughts without someone thinking we are weird.

GunnJ:
Oh yes!
As for similarities, I love the details of history, and a good, detailed, nuanced plot

Kat:
Avlis lore is a history lovers dream.

GunnJ:
I have a friend who somewhat follows the storylines and plots.

Kat:
That is great! Not a player but an interest in our stories.

GunnJ:
She often will turn to me and say "and then?!"

Kat:
Aww, that is sweet.


GunnJ:
It is, and it is fun to hit her with the same plot-twists that have surprised me, and see how she reacts

Kat:
Ha, gasps?

GunnJ:
For example, she had to take a moment when I told her Sarmon died...

Kat:
Aww, so did I!
Lulu is still not over it.

GunnJ:
And Aryeh Gidol?? That. she kept saying "I can't even..."

Kat:
That was a shocker too!
A lot of change lately, ICly.
What is one thing you would like to see happen on Avlis in the next few years? We have already been around a decade and some change. No reason to think it could not go longer.

GunnJ:
Oh my, hmmm

Kat:
Can be either IC or truly just OOC mechanics.

GunnJ:
OOC, there have been several scripts and items added recently that have been especially helpful
the one-click herb gathering alone

Kat:
Yeah, that was wild first time I clicked.

GunnJ:
So more things of that nature, I read that the team is thinking about making branches of wood smaller

Kat:
So not logs, but branches? That would be nice.

GunnJ:
Instead of being 2x3, they will be 1x2? Even 1x3 would be so helpful
I am not very good at looking for things like that, helps that make a big difference


Kat:
The small changes make a difference.
And of course, small I mean things that are not huge game-changers but just something simple.

GunnJ:
Yes!

Kat:
I know you play just the one PC, but is there a character type you have always wanted to try (but haven't)?

GunnJ:
From time to time, I have thought about a more carefree, wind-in-the-trees, nomad type PC that wanders in and out of places

Kat:
Sort of a detached wanderer?

GunnJ:
Yes

Kat:
I highly recommend that but only for short periods or you get lonely.

GunnJ:
I know that with my luck, I would be online with that PC when some Avlis-shattering event would pop up

Kat:
And then bam, world changer not hapless drifter.

GunnJ:
Or worse, that PC would be wholly incapable of being a part of that, and would be in Dagath's library 90% of the time

Kat:
Ha, a ghost.
What keeps you busy outside of Avlis?

GunnJ:
with COVID, right now, nothing...
But in an ideal world...

Kat:
Right? That question usually has a more positive answer but the times, they are strange.

GunnJ:
I am a part of a fibre-arts group

Kat:
That must be a lot of fun!

GunnJ:
Spinning, knitting, weaving, felting

Kat:
You have shared some of your creations with Avlis. They were awesome.

GunnJ:
Ah yes!

Kat:
In fact, I picture those when people auction dolls in-game.

GunnJ:
Awww!

Kat:
Likely why I bid so high. Ha

GunnJ:
If I could only catch up on a few projects for the group, I may work on a few more Flufficusses? Flufficusii?

Kat:
A herd of Fluffici?

GunnJ:
Guard your chocolate!

Kat:
Almost too sweet.
What is one thing that people would never guess about you having only met your PC?

GunnJ:
o.O

Kat:
Hard one but only one more question after this!

GunnJ:
I dunno
I am a massive steampunker.

Kat:
Wow, that is one I would not have guessed.

GunnJ:
Okay then, there we go

Kat:
Perfect. I did say wow out loud, too.

GunnJ:
There is a retirement home up the street from me.
They have excellent candy for Halloween.
A few years back, I wore my steampunk outfit, spats and top hat and parasol strapped to my back like a great-sword
(while I ~helped~ neighborhood kids trick-or-treat, of course! I was not trick or treating on my own!)

Kat:
That is fantastic!
I would not even judge the trick or treating solo.

GunnJ:
They won't let me wear anything else now

Kat:
Forever in that outfit.


GunnJ:
Darn right

Kat:
I love that!
Last question, a super easy one. Maybe.
What is the last song you listened to or book you read? It can be either.

GunnJ:
Oh! hah!

Kat:
Or both!

GunnJ:
Tying into the whole Timey-wimey diviner thingy, one of my favourite authors is Jodi Taylor
Who has an incredible series of books about "Exploring history in contemporary time"

Kat:
I will have to add her to my ever-growing list.

GunnJ:
Because no one is so uncouth as to say "time travel"

Kat:
I sense a theme here.

GunnJ:
That same friend I spoke of earlier clued me in to her

Kat:
Sounds like she will miss your fatespinning too.

GunnJ:
One of her book titles is "An Argumentation of Historians"nd if that is not exactly what historians are like...

Kat: I will definitely look that one up!

GunnJ:
You will have to start at the beginning, "Just One Damned Thing After Another"

Kat:
I enjoy a good series.

GunnJ:
She comes out with a short story every Christmas

Kat:
So I have a lot of reading to do. Ha
Thank you so much for letting me interview you. If there is anything else you want to add before we are finished, please feel free!

GunnJ:
One last thing that sprang to mind

Kat:
Please share!

GunnJ:
I'm going to use you to push a Youtube channel/community group called The Order of the Good Death

Kat:
Push away! What sort of group is it?
(I just subscribed)

GunnJ:
This is overseen by a mortician who believes that planning for funerals, and for death in general, should not be taboo.
And the cost of funerals should not be the absolute huckster sham that it is.

Kat:
That is fantastic. I have a girlfriend who is working on very similar things, removing stigma and silence about death.

GunnJ:
and for the life of me, I have blanked on her name…
Caitlin Doughty!

Kat:
I will absolutely raise the flag for people to check her out.

GunnJ:
Her youtube channel is a lot of fun and slightly irreverent, and it’s a good way to get sucked into learning a whole lot about how death is treated, and how it should be treated.

Kat:
(editor’s note: link https://www.youtube.com/user/OrderoftheGoodDeath )
Ask A Mortician
Mortician in Los Angeles. You got death questions, we got death answers. Mortality + Culture.
I love it, and I am so glad that people are turning to ways to discuss death out of hushed tones.

GunnJ:
Between Jodi and Caitlin, there is a lot to read and watch.

Kat:
Yes!
I hope all the readers of this interview get something out of it too.

GunnJ:
I truly hope so.

Kat:
Thank you again for the interview and have a good night.
Pia - The Miette Hartley Ribbon for Exceptional Disregard of Allies 2014

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