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N. Presley

Hybrid armchair copyeditor-storyteller-roleplayer-mythologist escapist.

Started reading fantasy fiction in 1978, alongside various mythology & folklore collections. These days I read with no genre barrier to speak of, but even more slowly since The Web became one of my prominent timesinks.

Started playing RPGs in the mid-'80s (AD&D, Star Frontiers, GURPS) and branched out further in the early '90s (Warhammer, World of Darkness, Ars Magica).

A vidja game junkie since before I can remember (first the Atari 2600, then arcades, then friends with Apples & Commodores, then my first PC in '88), I stumbled over Baldur's Gate modding communities in 2004 (have dabbled in beta-testing, banter proofreading and arguing stridently about how strict a CRPG should be about the behavior of Paladins).

Also had a "gamebook" period (Fighting Fantasy, Lone Wolf, Grail Quest, Way of the Tiger, Cretan Chronicles) that petered out in the '90s but isn't quite dead (and was recently stoked by Trial of the Clone).

The most expensive of these habits has been P'n'P RPGs and the most time-consuming has been electronic gaming - though if I include power bills and an ongoing decade-plus of hoovering up deals on STEAM, those might tip the latter habit firmly into the former category as well.

In any case, as a consumer I favor adventure, party dynamics, depth of lore, and (my worst addiction) an intricate character creation process.

I include roleplayer under the 'armchair' designation because I have never manged to sustain long campaigns of any kind during my particular windows of time with my circles of friends (and tournament play has never appealed to me on any level). I have probably spent less than 1% of {my time engaged with roleplaying game materials} actually interacting with other humans.

Ars Magica is my latest favorite game, possibly for similar reasons to my fondness for the World of Darkness series - tweaking "the real world" with [optionally-subtle] fantastical elements and alternate timelines has contributed to my increased (if tardy) interest in How Stuff Works, human history, pre-history, etc.

I recall being excited when reading in Neal Stephenson's REAMDE the lengths to which "D-squared" Cameron goes to evoke realism in T'Rain.

As far as creative design goes, the closest I have come to it so far (beyond fiddling with minutiae of already-built worlds) was to begin composing my own series of gamebooks. Sadly, I could only mimic system structure and had no spark of storytelling in me; by the time I actually approached creative writing on my own steam, I was fixated more on love sonnets and psychedelia than on crafting a narrative with a beginning, middle and end (let alone a setting!). Yet another indulgent swerve in my escapist path ...

I expect that I will be long on questions/comments and short on answers in this neck of the Net.

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  • Gympie, Queensland, Australia
  • Member for 1 year, 11 months
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  • Last seen Jun 16 '18 at 4:07

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