A Peek Behind The Curtain : Belasco

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A Peek Behind The Curtain : Belasco

Post by ninja » Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:44 pm

Belasco, stolen from facebook

This is a first of a series that lets the community know the person behind the curtain. Feel free to comment. Chat taken from a private IRC log with permission.

ninja straightens up and clears the mic

Belasco smiles politely and sips her coffee

ninja: Belasco, thanks for joining me on IRC to have this little chat.

Belasco: Happy to be here, ninja

ninja: First question, and I'm sure this is the one everyone asks everyone else...What brought you to Avlis?

Belasco: Semley, actually :) Spool32 was stuck in Ireland, I was in Texas with our kids and Semley suggested we start playing Avlis as a way to be able to play together and talk for free. he and spool32 worked together back then

ninja: Semley? That's a blast from the past! Hope he is doing well.

Belasco: he and spool32 are still in touch :) last we heard he's doing pretty good

ninja: Great. Next question...what type of characters do you like to play?

Belasco: Ooo, good question.I went for an elven ranger because that was closest to my own interests, now that I've been playing here for a while I still find myself going back to that first PC. I generally enjoy playing good PCs, in large part because it's easier. Playing evil on Avlis takes a lot more energy. I guess, if I just think about Avlis, I'm drawn towards characters I feel can really be a part of the world in one way or another.

ninja: I know what you mean about playing evil characters. It's an interesting feeling as a player when you do something bad, like burn a church down, and have an entire group login immediately and hunt you down. Still, without stellar ebul characters like Damar, Rhiss, and Isamu, Avlis would be a lot more huggy.

Belasco: I think Avlis would lose a lot if we didn't have people willing to expend the effort to play evil PCs. As a player and as a DM, I have a lot of respect for people who help flush out the "darker" side of the world.

ninja: Next question: why did you decide to join the team?

Belasco: I actually joined the team twice. The first time was shortly after the first Texas meet and I'd gotten a lot of "you shold really join the Team!" comments, so I did. But I wasn't really ready, I wasn't at all prepaired for the time being on the Team requires, and I wasn't done enough with just being a player, so I left. After being in spool32's Evrakian plot and playing a Paladin for a while as a secret alt I was finally ready and I reapplied. thankfully they let me back in ;) Though I guess that's not exactly the why of it. I joined the Team because, as silly as this may sound, I really wanted to give back to the world.

ninja: That's not silly at all. Very noble of you. There are different ways of giving back. DMing, building, donating, and even being that oldbie who takes around the noobies. Speaking of Avlis meets, for the people who have never been to one, what kind of stuff happens at an Avlis meet?

Belasco: lol, what happens at an Avlis Meet stays at an Avlis Meet!

ninja: hahaha...that's not a great selling slogan. :P

Belasco: It's actually intersting, different meets seem to go ...well, differently. For instance, we've never run a PnP game during a Texas meet, and the last few have been less Avlis focused and more getting to really know each other focused. we've played Apples to Aplles (that's where wolfy gets Luscious from) and a lot of Rock Band :) Having the Texas meets out at the ranch means not being "plugged in" so people get a chance to drink heavily and stumble around together. I've come to really enjoy that relaxed atmosphere, though one of these days I really want to get to one of the other meets!

ninja: You made it to Chicago I believe...

Belasco: nope :( We came very close, but child care fell through so...no 32s

ninja: Oh. Damn. You should have. There was Drunkeoke.

Belasco: nodnodnod!

ninja: My favorite part of the last Texas meet was Avlis charades. Lesli was brilliant setting that up.

Belasco: She's awesome, I'm looking forward to her having time to play again. Avlis charades and when krackq did a beastie boy's song and freaked everybody out *snickers* good times.

ninja: Back to more game stuff...what is your favorite plot that you have run, if you can talk about it?

Belasco: Hmm, there are two really. Both of them were about helping PCs flush out their back stories. In both cases there was a central PC, but the plot involved a lot of their IC friends. which was probably why they're both my favorites...getting to watch the IC relationships go from casual to really three dimensional was really fun for me, and both of those plots have had long lasting RP opportunities for all of the PCs involved.

ninja: How do you decide to run plots for players or guilds?

Belasco: Seat of my pants, really. Something happens that inspires me and I run with it. It's almost always by hopping around to see what people are up to and stumbling on RP. It doesn't matter if it's in a dungeon, or sitting around somewhere. Someone will say something in the course of a conversation or emote something and that'll trigger an idea for me. Sometimes those ideas turn into one offs, other times they carry on into long running plots.With Bedlam, for instance, I happened upon him telling someone there was more to him than explosions (sorry Joeyo, secret's out ;) )And I decided I wanted to know what that was and also I wanted to give him a chance to explore that side of his PC.

ninja: Do you sponsor any guilds?

Belasco: No, and I haven't ever, though I have had guilds I worked with more closely than others on and off over the years.

ninja: Have you paused server, jumped all players to the same point, or handed out some crazy loot/xp? You know...crazy DM stuff like that?

Belasco: Yeah, all of the above. when I started out the DM ranks weren't nearly as well defined as they are now, which sometimes led to some interesting screw ups. When I first started out I dropped an uber cloak, thankfully it was PJ who got it so asking to take it back wasn't nearly as awful as it could've been.

ninja: Speaking of teh phat l00t...what was the coolest reward you have ever given?

Belasco: Hmm... Do you mean by how cool I thought it was or by stats?

ninja: how cool it was...it doesn't need to be the ub3r keel zombie mace.

Belasco: Finn's sword, then :) the RP around that was really neat, and, again, it's got longevity...he still talks about it IG. other than that the Azlae end of plot rewards were pretty cool, too.

ninja: *looks around* i've heard of Alzae... :D

Belasco: *snicker*

ninja: What do you like about being on the team?

Belasco: The comradery in a lot of ways, but also being able to work on the world at the nuts and bolts level. I don't code, but I do get a chance to help out with a lot of different aspects of Avlis, whether it's testing something out or building or running events :)

ninja: You bet. Who was your mentor, and what kind of stuff did you learn from your mentor?

Belasco: lol we were talking about this in IRC last night. Alexandru was my mentor :) I learned a ton of history about the world and came to view it from a whole new way while in the client. He had me hop around the servers with him, pointing out places where major historic events took place, or pointing out changes that were put in and explaining why. Having someone who was not only able to teach me how to use the client, but also the history and the why's to so much of the way Avlis has been shaped over the years was invaluable. I also learned a lot about half-elven bandits *cough*

ninja: Alexandru certainly has a lot of history on Avlis. Great to have him as a mentor. Seeing the historical places is pretty cool as well. What keeps you around as a player and DM?

Belasco: The community, hands down. There are so many amazing people who play here, and over the years we've been lucky enough to make some really wonderful friends. Also, there's always something to do, and I enjoy the constant little bits of newness. Avlis is far from static.

ninja: What was the strangest thing you have ever seen while DMing?

Belasco: Ya know in all my years in the client I've never come across any cybering, I'm not sure if I'm lucky or left out ;) Strangest thing was probably the incident DeadEyeDave posted about in the recent Embarrassing Moments thread where his drunk sister logged in using his account. That was quite the wtf? mo5ment

ninja: You are one of the lucky ones. I hopped to cyber on occassion. Still, whatever floats people's boat.

Belasco: I've heard some wild stories, so yeah...I'll go with staying lucky!

ninja: What advice would you give a player who is thinking about applying to join the team?

Belasco: Joining the DM staff...well, actually, any part of the Team requires a good bit of time. if you don't have much time to play as it is then you generally have to be ready to put your PC to the side. I disagree with the idea that someone needs to be fully ready to stop playing their PC(s), but there's no getting around that being on the Team impacts your play time a lot. That's the biggest thing I generally go over with people who are talking about joining. the second thing is: know the lore! you don't need to know everything, but have a solid general understanding of the world and be ready to ask other people for help.

ninja: Good advice. Knowing what to do next is just as important to know what has already happened. If you could jump in the toolset and make an item for any player with any properties, but it has to be under 10,000 GP value, what would you make and for whom?

Belasco: A new umbrella for Kassha with some randomness attached to it. It probably wouldn't replace the one he currently fights with, but it'd be a nice addition to the insanity fighting with an umbrella is :)

ninja: You are one of the married Avlis crew. How does Avlis affect your normal life?

Belasco: Yep, I'm married to spool32 (15 years so far!). Avlis actually is a large part of our normal/day to day life. We don't talk about Avlis stuff for the most part, but we do discuss the business side of it. Also, it's become something our kids assume is just a part of how things are for our family, which makes sense if you consider that we started playing in '04 when our youngest was 4 years old! We found, early on, that discussing our PCs led to feeling a bit like metagaming...later on when we were both just DMs we discovered we disagree about Avlis a lot so we stopped talking about Team-side stuff, as well. Now that we're both in "leadership" positions we help each other DM events and send eachother links for threads we need to keep up on, but other than that we don't discuss it. I know that may sound strange, but we're distinctly different people which I think adds to Avlis at the end of the day :)

ninja: i agree. you are much prettier than spool32.

Belasco: lol!

ninja: Since you have been around for 7 years (WOW!), you have seen many characters and players come and go. Who do you miss the most?

Belasco: Oh, wow, yeah. Gosh, well I miss Snow, Semley, Aeveras, and Vergilius a lot! There are PCs I miss, too, though. Like Nai'lani, Manuel the White, Aeveras, Sinn, Tallan, Cairn, Celedor, Nadrin, ...I could go on with this for a long time :( It's funny how attached one can get to other people's PCs...ahh nostalgia!

ninja: i know what you mean. this is the more depressing question in this interview. although i played a PC who was a bit ... opposite... than those PCs, i miss them too.

Belasco: you played a good nemisis

ninja: Hypothetical situation...servers are empty, and you have 2 hours to kill on Avlis. What do you do?

Belasco: Probably reset all the servers :) Log in with a PC and get their inventory organized, craft basic stuff, or even go *gasp* solo something

ninja: if there was no Avlis (God forbid), what game would you be playing?

Belasco: scary thought! I'd probably play more Sims3, Dragon Age, and Rock Band. Though I've been playing C&C with the kids lately, so maybe I'd do even more of that :)

ninja: I loved Dragon Age, althought there are too many expansions to it.

Belasco: I've played 'em all *coughs*

ninja: Last question...what is something about you that has nothing to do with Avlis that people would be interested to know?

Belasco: Hmm, difficult one. Well, people are usually surprized to learn that I've never played PnP. Other than that...I'm pretty much an open book. I would like it if people contacted me directly when questions pop up or issues with the Team arrise. I'd like to be able to help out more that way on avlis.

ninja: Well thank you for taking some time away from mom-duty to answer these questions. Your answers will give the players some insight on who Belasco really is. Do you have any parting comments?

Belasco: I think this is a great idea and I'm really looking forward to seeing more Team interviews.

Belasco: thanks :)
Interested in being an interviewee or an interviewer for a community interview, send me a PM!
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Re: A Peek Behind The Curtain : Belasco

Post by StormShadows » Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:12 pm

*Gasp* Bel! Does Spool know you let people behind your shower curtain?! :o

Crude jokes aside, a great read.
I always like hearing about things from other peoples' perspectives. And its cool to learn about the people you play with.

Thank Ninja & Belasco.

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Re: A Peek Behind The Curtain : Belasco

Post by solitude_peace2 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:31 pm

Great read. I look for the next.
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Re: A Peek Behind The Curtain : Belasco

Post by NecroZombie » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:49 pm

Some of you know, and some don't....

She is also one cool mofo in RL.
spool32 wrote: [spool32] Gorethar : [Talk] As a Team, we're very pro-evil.

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