[Status] Awesome Players

edited April 2008 in Story Games
On the podcast, Jason said something about how a great player should have all the status of a game designer in our little world here, and gorram, he is so right.

We talk about it sometimes, but this thread is specifically for teh love and shout-outs. Point at someone and yell: YOU ROCK! Embarrass them.

I'll start:

Joe McDonald: You are an amazing player! Your energy, flair, and creativity are a joy to behold. Also, sometimes you are so moved that you do a strip tease. Aside from being both awesome and alarming, this wild abandon is infectious and kicks everyone out of their safe little comfort zones.

Remi Treuer: You rock so hard. I once saw you stand at the game table and command a river to do your bidding and if I had been a river right then I would have fucking jumped to it. Also, if there is ever a statue commemorating neck-stabbing, it better be of you.

Wilhelm Fitzpatrick: You bring the heat every time. Your characters are always really cool and you have the gift of banter like no one else I've played with. You also bring rules mastery to the table which helps the game flow and keeps everyone on track and using the system to its fullest.

Lukas Myhan: I've only played with you once, in a quick little IAWA demo thing. The way you embodied your character in a heartbeat and dove into a new game with so much style and intensity... it was great. I learned some techniques watching you, like how sometimes being quiet "in character" is a powerful thing. I hope we get to play together more often.

I have so many more. But now it's your turn!


  • edited April 2008
    I'll throw one in, that I know from a recorded AP

    Paul Tevis: I know, he's designing a game of his own, but I'm talking about his (and his fellow players) full campaign of Polaris here. I've spent the last week or so listening to it, and boy, it was good! I think Ben should use it more prominently as a marketing device for his game: listening to those voices, of people I don't know, I not only got a game that's pretty unconventional right away, and i want it now!
    Also, Paul's acting voice literally made me shiver when he closed the sessions with the ritual "...but this all happened long ago, and now there's none who remember it". I'm totally playing my first Polaris game in a couple of weeks :)
  • Steve Segedy: You are the GM's best friend! You're the guy whose character won't hesitate to, say, take the Filipino refugees and their sick sorority girl friend up your Cessna 180 floatplane so I can have said sorority girl turn into a zombie 5000 feet over Baranof island. What? You're the guy whose so adept at framing conflicts that I instinctively look to you before saying anything.

    Clinton R. Nixon: You are the king of making choices that are as much about you as they are about your guy, and investing a lot of intensity in them. Unlike anybody I've ever gamed with you genuinely care what happens, and that's really cool and fun. You play every game just like you wrote TSOY, if that makes sense.

    Joseph "The Animal" Stanton: I love your NPCs best. We're always throwing some random guy at you - "The ticket-taker is a sneering fundamentalist with a closed head injury named Hans - Joe, go!" - and you bring depth and wonderful dialog to the table without missing a beat. Plus you are the best at playing ladies.

    Robo: Your deep-seated enthusiasm for miserable calamity, phyrric victory, and self-destructive rivalries is a constant, heart-warming delight.
  • Ryan Macklin: I met a whole new Macklin when you played in my Misspent Youth game at Dreamation. It's a side I wish I could get to know more often.
  • Adam Flynn is a beast for descriptive flair. If I ever find myself in a 10 x 10 room, I want Adam there to tell me what's in it. He also can do that "speak dramatically with authority" thing without coming off like an American doing Shakespeare.
  • Rafael Torrubia: Always up for a new game, always willing to discuss problems, and always full of story. You really have a flair for twisting things just so, to make our games even more fun than I thought they could be. I haven't been playing with you for long, but you've dived into the Indie Games I blather about with aplomb, and I'm grateful for that.

    Per Fischer: Per, you're a thoughtful, considered player that is always a joy to game with. You're the player I know from whom thoughtful silences are most anticipated and a cause for celebration, because I know when next you open your mouth it will be to suggest something that knocks me on my ass, in the best kind of way. No one plays an antagonist like you do, with subtlety and insight to spare.

    Joe Murphy: Your ideas about play and rules and such sync with mine in a way that makes me joyful. You're brilliant to play off of and build ideas in a game with, and your ideas are always solid and exciting. In play you regularly blow me away with great material and a considered response to the suggestions of other players. You play as part of the group and integrate everyone's ideas, therefore facilitating the awesome.

    Graeme Ross: I've never, ever met a player with as much energy, enthusiasm, and investment in his characters and stories. Seriously, people say that I'm enthusiastic, but it's a joke when compared to you. Your voices and accents are hilariously bad, but you keep it up, and it wins everyone over. I have the honour of having introduced you to RPGs, something that the hobby will eventually thank me for, I reckon.

    Louise Hipwell: You have great tolerance for my long, rambling, discussions about games. You're a great player, far better than you give yourself credit for. You're supportive and excited about my game. You have sex with me. That makes you tops on my list of best players, as none of the other ones do that. I feel I've dodged a bullet, in that sense. :)

    There are other players in my life that kick ass - Alek, Craig, Rich, Fraggle - and some I've only played with in the past or briefly - Debbie, Steve, David, Calum, Euan, Patrick, and others - and all these people listed here kick ass. I just didn't want to write an essay on everyone I've ever gamed with!
  • Pete: He's that dude from Dreamation and Dexcon and whenever I'm in a game with him I'm always giddy to see which PC he will pick because I know he is going to hit it out of the park. In the last game we played together, The World Tree Pack, he started off playing the Omega and ended up as the Alpha of the pack. And the worst part is I'm not even sure if I'm getting his name right or not.


    Jim and Rich: The two guys from the burning skype orc game are so damned good. I flat-out do not have time to play this game every week and every week I scrape out the time with my fingernails in order to see what their wild orcs are going to do next. They've found this amazing groove together.

    Jim's second-in-command Slayer is in the thick of it, making these decisions that shock everyone at the table and Rich's newly crowned orc king (has been playing an orc king since the first game when he was nothing but a lowly Named with no horde to speak of) will take in the mess and his Slayer has gotten them into and will see only opportunity for more power.

    Its glorious.

    More to come as I think on it for a while.

    Nice fucking thread, Harper.
  • edited April 2008
    Lee Who doesn't frequent this board or any other because PhD candidates are basically slave labor for people with tenure: This guy rocks so hard that he makes my table shake. When he decided to be a Machiavellan prince he made the hairs on the back of my neck raise. His choices of deed and phrase never fail to amaze and his GMing is fucking fabu too.

    Johnzo Always willing to confront and conflict, but more importantly, able to collaborate with the other players to make the scene wicked awesome. John seems to have an instictual knowledge of story potential. Let's play more.

    More to come as well.
  • Let's see, Paul & Rich got mentions, so I'll pick on some of my other favorite gamers...

    Clyde Rhoer & Michael O'Sullivan: Dude, I loved playing with these guys at Dreamation. Michael and I vibed will in two games we were both players in. Both he & Clyde were on their fucking game in my DRYH session.

    Lenny Balsera: Dude, I would play any game with Lenny. When he brings his A game, it's no small deal.

    Jerry, Mike, Aaron & Matt: Maybe three of you know who I'm talking about. These are the folks in my home crew who, for different reasons, rock out every other week. Though none visit this space, they deserve my recognition. Jerry brings some gonzo shit, but knows how to reign it in. Mike will bring that dark, raw pathos, usually while channeling someone inside him. Aaron does his fucking homework and will bestow his wisdom to the table. Matt constantly forces me to think about how we all play games.
  • Yeah, listing everyone is going to be hard. I've got to repeat some of the names already mentioned.

    Joe Big F'in McD! Intensity's the right word. Tons of it. I wish you lived closer, man.

    Lukas Myhan, the Zen Master version of Joe; same unending talent, but with a deceptively calm surface.

    Same with James Brown and Matthew Gagan; they talk quietly, but the oomph is right in there every time.

    Johnzo puts the ROCK'n'ROLLPLAYING!

    Jake Richmond, who always manages to surprise me in good ways. As well as Nick; the two in one game are a crazy fun combination every time.

    Colin Cummins, who's always a joy to have at the table, for play or for chatting.

    David Hauth, for creating some of the most twisted and complex characters I've seen. That's some dark shit, man. Awesome :)

    Last but not least, my darling wife Lisa, whose characters can tantalize me like no one else's.

    And more. But it's Survivor time now and I've got to run :)
  • Ben Baugh: One of the most delightful players I've ever sat a table with. Brings light and fun wherever he goes. Even better, he shares the center of the fun, so it never feels like it's just his.

    Mark Causey: More than anyone I know, Mark tries. I don't mean that in a damning-with-faint-praise way, but Mark is constantly making the effort to grow and learn and adapt to new situations he's in. And then he jumps in with both feet. He was not only overjoyed to become a thrall to a mad priest, but mimed wearing a dead sheep on his head. For 10 minutes. That's commitment to fun.

    Travis Farber: I've only played one game with him, PTA at Camp Nerdly, but he blew me away with his quiet portrayal of pain and lust and acceptance. I hope I get to play with him again this year!
  • What everyone has said above about people I've played with, I can only confirm merrily. They are great for the reasons listed. So I won't cover them again, but hit some more:

    Luke Crane
    And everyone knows why he rocks. Nobody could possibly have more enthusiasm for play.

    Jason Morningstar
    For an intensely spooky sense of characterization, and intensity of delivery.

    Judd Karlman
    Fun, quirky play that engages straight from his gregarious personality.

    Shreyas Sampat
    For an ability to make play feel truely mythopoetic, and yet very human, all at the same time.

    Emily Care
    For empathy in play, and empathic projection. Did you pick your last name? Surely that's not random. Playing with Em can be very intimate (without getting all weird, you know).

    Andy Kitowski
    Andy is always fun to play with because he's always having fun. Few people really are this way.

    Many more I haven't mentioned due to time...

    Don't any of you say I'm a good player (not that you were gonna), or we'll certainly be guilty of this having devolved into some mutual-admiration society. Let's stick to the truely outstanding players.

  • John Harper
    This is going to sound really, really dumb. I think that you're a cool guy. And not just cool in that "awesome guy to hang out with" way. Cool in that "trendy guy with a cool job and a lot of talent, who's not hurting for looks or confidence" way. And I like that when I think about roleplaying geekery and all the negative stereotyping that comes along with it, I have an anchor point to combat that image from. That anchor point is you, John Harper.

    Chad Reiss
    Unfortunately, only the Vancourites and Saskatchewains know Chad at the moment. That will hopefully change promptly. Chad is this big, loveable, dreadlocked guy. He's a substitute teacher, a world traveller, and a fantastic human being. I feel completely put at ease when playing with him. I know that someone's got my back. I know that he'll bring to the table whatever I'm searching for. Chad is easy going enough to try any game, talented enough to rock it, and enthusiastic enough to inspire the same energy in us. I wouldn't trade him for the world.

    Ryan Macklin
    Ryan is full of that "let's fuckin' do this. Now!" spark. He's where I learned the delicate art of throwing down from.

    Tony LB
    This man taught me that Jungle Speed is a sport meant to be won through pain, sweat, and steely-eyed intensity.

    Jake Richmond
    You seem so sedate, and at first glance the intensity underneath that isn't apparent. You have a way of making play look easy. In that perfect game when you stood up and yelled "You dirty, dirty little boy!"... In that Kin game when you screamed "This. Is. Everyone's. Fault. But. Mine."... In that Cheap game when you just took the hat (with 18 tokens) and dumped it in your lap. These moments are brilliant, and it looks like you pull it off effortlessly. You're like an Olympic gymnast. Everything is so graceful, and I have no idea where the work was put in.

    My Go Play NW Cheap Team
    Ryan Macklin, Jake Richmond, John Kim, Nick Smith. You validated all of my design goals, broke the game, and thoroughly rocked me. Nick Smith walked into someone else's scene, and that broke the isolation. John Kim somehow managed to put me into a scene. Ryan turned the abuse lens onto me. Jake Richmond broke the game like three times over. Everyone here gets massive props for playing to the spirit of the game in a way I hadn't imagined.
  • edited April 2008
    So, it's cool if I call out some people you folk don't have in your Friends list, right? 'Cause, you know, they're still flippin' awesome players. In alphabetical order:

    Angela Andersson, my wife, who has moved from not-particularly-giving-but-a-literary-masterpiece 80x25 character MUSH poses about how her dark lace dress feature the tiniest patch of mold and the particular olfactory qualities thereof, to incredibly dynamic characters like Greasy Gene/Jean, the androgynous circus-escapee con-person who mid-session decided to "dabble in human trafficking" and ended up selling my character into prostitution after having eaten her eyeball. Any game - and gamer - would be lucky to have you, and I count my blessings daily.

    Piers Brown, I've only played with you a handful of times, but your presence has drastically upped the quality of the game each and every time. You have an uncanny ability both to offer awesome suggestions and to back down gracefully when they are not taken. I wish every player was as attentive and enthusiastic when it's not "their turn".

    Justin Folkerts, who manages both exceptional characterizations and a fantastic willingness to reflect on what makes games tick. I rarely meet players who do either as well as you, much less both! One word for you guys: Oaf, the tree-wielding math-genius pacifist ogre.

    Last but not least, Hans Messersmith, whose willingness to get together and experiment with all manners of weird hippie games has forever changed my game. The energy you bring to the table super-charges every session, and I'd sooner put the kids back to bed and tell my neighbours to move out than ask you to lower the volume of your laugh.

    Dudes, you rock. If you ever see any of these guys or gals on a con sign-up sheet, you want to get on that game!
  • edited April 2008
    Posted By: lachekSo, it's cool if I call out some people you folk don't have in your Friends list, right?
    YES. Shine a light on people who otherwise wouldn't be in the spotlight here. Especially them.
  • I've only had the pleasure of playing with him once at GenCon, but wow did Daniel Perez bring the awesome to our SW PTA game. Big ups to Paul Tevis, but he's a repeat.

    I have never seen the likes of Jim Bryant, the other half of the Burning Skype game that Judd mentioned above. I am frequently amazed at the depth of his deceptive abilities and his forethought. I usually have my most fun just following the bread crumbs he's throwing down.

    He doesn't frequent the forum, but Richard Aragon is the player in the Lone Wolf Lacuna Part 1 game I've posted AP here: Falconer Chronicles. This is his first indie game and he is a joy to play with, a creative, surprising and enthusiastic gamer.

    I would mention I also adore playing with Ryan Macklin, but he is egotistical enough, so I won't.
  • Posted By: joepub
    Chad Reiss
    Unfortunately, only the Vancourites and Saskatchewains know Chad at the moment. That will hopefully change promptly. Chad is this big, loveable, dreadlocked guy. He's a substitute teacher, a world traveller, and a fantastic human being. I feel completely put at ease when playing with him. I know that someone's got my back. I know that he'll bring to the table whatever I'm searching for. Chad is easy going enough to try any game, talented enough to rock it, and enthusiastic enough to inspire the same energy in us. I wouldn't trade him for the world.
    Not just you crazy Candaniaites that know him! I have fond memories of that Shock: game I was involved in with you, Chad and the other guys at the Grind coffee house. Chad was indeed a great guy to play with.

  • Oh yeah! Spaceman on Spaceman violence! That was an awesome game.
  • edited July 2009
    I almost started a whole new thread for this, but I'm resurrecting this one, which I missed the first time and anyway I have since obtained new evidence. I need to gush about some extraordinary players who are outside my regular circle!

    Jackson Tegu, of course, is everybody's secret Kiss Dude and also seems to be living the kind of life most of us are content to experience through fiction. But he's also the single most talented player I've met at noticing the clever thing you did, laughing uproariously about it, snapping his fingers in acclaim and then contributing a twist that makes things even better. What's more, he commits to characters with a fearlessness that I'd compare favorably to most professional actors.

    Joe McDonald doesn't get an entry because everybody already jizzed on him.

    On a classier note, I've been privileged to get to know and game with Lukas Myhan and Lesley McKeever on three occasions over the last year. They bring very different things to the table: Lukas has a considered, deadpan sense of humor from which he can flip seamlessly into serious story contributions, while Lesley has a knack for building and inhabiting characters who mix badassery with vulnerability in a way you don't often see in one-shot games.

    John Aegard and Chris Bennett get paired up because they both seem able to reel off coherent, believable, startling narration after only a moment's thought. It's like watching a bar fight turn into choreographed kung fu. I'm struggling not to lump Matthew Klein in with Chris, since I can't seem to find a game with one and not the other, but actually his talent is something different: sure, he can stream consciousness with the best of them, but Matthew really excels at taking whatever nasty twist you came up with and making it much, much worse.

    Between my stint in North Carolina and moving to the northwest in the last couple years, I've been privileged to play with a lot of excellent people, but these kids have shined so much in our brief encounters that I have to award them MVP status. Thanks to all of you.
  • Hmmm... coming in late, I can mostly but add my me too's:

    Johnzo: for being able to casually introduce entire subplots or pages of background detail in an offhand sentence. And also playing decadent gods like nobody else.

    John Harper: for being fearless, and for making it look easy.

    Jackson Tegu: who is always invested in, attentive to, and supportive of other peoples play, while never stinting to drive at what he wants.

    Clinton Nixon: for wearing his heart on his sleeve in so many different, sometimes entertaining, sometimes touching ways.

    Luke Crane: for his mastery of ornithological role play, and his refusal to let you off easy.

    ...and my own original contribution...

    Mike Mulvihill: for the simple passion he brings to the table, and for his amazing ability as a player to bring the NPCs around him to life, simply through the light of his own regard.
  • I just saw this thread for the first time and thought, man I have to mention John "Johnzo" Aegard. And clearly I'm not alone.
  • Daniel Levine, who plays every game like it will be his last. He invents amazing backgrounds for his characters. He dives into the game material head first. When he plays, he shouts and whoops and puts it all out there. He often takes the hard, but most interesting path for his character.
  • I guess it's time to embarrass a new batch of folks.

    Johnzo: Wow... that guy... if gaming was kung fu his knuckle calluses would be epic.

    Lukas Myhan: We live in the same town! We seriously need to game together more often. You have mad skillz.

    Christian Griffen: This thing happens in Christian's eyes just before he describes an awesome, awesome stunt. They sparkle with glee and he sort of grins a little bit. I actually got goosebumps of anticipation just before his teleport/dodge/takedown move in the Danger Patrol game.

    Lesley McKeever: A master of character portrayal and snappy dialogue. Your Lady Blackbird blew me away!

    Matthew Gagan: I wish you were at my game table every week. Your enthusiasm, style, and creative energy are infectious.

    Blake Hutchins: Very few people can bring touching, powerful, emotion to a pick-up convention game, in the space of five minutes AND THEN turn on a dime and deliver comedy and action, too. Amazing.

    Brendan Adkins: Anacrusis proves you are the wittiest and most clever person I know. But you also bring it to the game table, face to face. Your in-character banter and fearlessness (running a game you had never read or played!) are inspiring.

    Paul Riddle: Whenever things have to go dark, disturbing, chaotic, brutal, or just wrong... I can always count on you. Not only will you go there, but you'll stick a dagger between your teeth, roll up your sleeves, and crawl headfirst into the hole.

    Sage LaTorra: You never hesitate. When you're at the table, I know your character will be hip-deep in the action in no time. Also, your knack for playing the fool in a scene is hilarious and rare in a hobby where most people are trying so hard to play cool and competent characters all the time.

    Shannon East: You're the most talented roleplayer I know. There, I said it. Your portrayal of Arras in the WFRP game will remain a highlight of my gaming life, forever.
  • Philaros
    During rock-and-roll confidential, you played a music critic. The idea of playing your own profession tongue-in-cheek like that is really cool, and I also imagine it to be tricky. So, you're the first person who has played a character which made me want to learn more about the player. By the end of that, I wanted to know where Marcus Locke ended and Philip LaRose began.

    Daniel Wood
    I don't think we played together once at GPNW09. Weird.
    Daniel has the ability to capture everything going on in the game in this single, understated, crystalline moment. It just... causes everything to implode. Silently. Softly. Almost tragically.

    The best example of this is the first game I ever played of Ribbon Drive. Beautiful and talented, but somehow always distant Pauline (played by Daniel) is listening to her younger brother talk about Aunt Margaret. The brother mentions Aunt Margaret's abortion to my character, then adds "but everyone else here already knew that." Daniel just goes silent for a moment. "I didn't."
    Maybe it doesn't sound like much out-of-context (perhaps the brilliance of Daniel's art is just that), but it floored me and suddenly re-focused the entire game.
  • Jeremy Lahnum. Some people might have met him at the last Dexcon, maybe, but man do I love this guy. I want to keep in my pocket and pull him out any time I'm running a game. His enthusiasm alone will keep me running a campaign. He'll try anything, and always plays characters that really drive story. Also, if the game is comedic, he will make me lose my shit many, many times before the game is done. One of my favorite characters he's ever played was an English professor of Military History who wrote the book "Countries England Has Sorted Right Out" in a game of The Shab Al-Hiri Roach.
  • To mention another not yet mentioned...

    David Ross Drake

    He blew me away with his Mythender at GPNW (game #1). He played a young boy who -- after they ended an army of undead, cowed valkyrie, and some chose to terrorize mortals to gain mythic gifts -- went to a girl, who offered him the cleanest cloth they had so he could bathe, and softly said, "I'm sorry we're here."

    I cannot capture in text how the delivery hit me like a ton of bricks. It is right now my most favorite moment in running my game, and I have a lot of competition for that feeling. And I want to play in a game with David again.
  • edited July 2009

    oh my god, you guys, thanks.

    I know this isn't supposed to be about game designers, but I do have to bow towards Portland, where Christian Griffen dwells. That Beast Hunters game he led at GPNW 2007 was the first time I ever felt the power and the glory of the new school, and it's been almost 100% awesome since then. Thanks Christian!


    I feel like I could blow out Andy's hard drive typing about all the people I am blessed to have shared a table with:

    Alan B, god-faker.
    Ogre, nicknamer.
    Chris B, greeter of dawn and herald of cookies.
    Matthew K, a mere meat-slicer trapped in a hostile, confusing, and perverse world.
    Tony "Twenty Dollar" D, who answers phone calls that he really, really shouldn't.
    John H, surrogate father to stray puppies and terrified airmen.
    Brandon A, proposer of family reunions.
    James C, whose lateral thinking powers can only be the result of a diet rich in powdered Green Lantern Corps rings.
    Jordan, freezer of worlds and reveler of the endless stillness.
    Brendan, who (seems to) bear me no ongoing ill-will about that poorly aimed Acid Arrow. Brendan did not make like Ping and Ryan M, who have both brought con games home for me with surprise bursts of startling PvP violence.
    David R D. As piranha are to cattle, so ravens are to zombies.
    Hans O, who did CPR on an ailing IAWA game at Conquest and brought it home for us. But then he moved away from our emerald domain and so now he is dead to me.
    Jeremy T. Jerry is like a ace lead guitarist who's also a good songwriter. His play has dynamics.. He knows when to boom and when to squeak.
    Hans A, who was tired of being pushed around and was ready to fight back!
    Ben R, for the gracious and frightened human touch he brought to a party of hideously broken men.
    Lukas and Lesley and Jackson and Ogre for the 1001 Nights of viziers and love-demons and Chudo Udo, a game so magical that it has migrated out of memory and into spirit; it lives inside me as an impressionistic wash of pistachios and cardamon and desert breezes and silk rustles and soul-rotting bitterness...
    Kevin P. Diesel was awesome. Then Diesel died stupidly. I'm really sorry for that, man.
    Jackson for that creepy identity-shifting-cycle plotline we batted around in that Ocean playtest. That was my first taste of the deeply bent and soulful weird that forments behind those little glasses.
    Good ol' Matt W, whose dusty cowgirl made it out of the the desert with her dignity intact, unlike the rest of us. (That Deadlands game, in retrospect, probably pushed out too far.)
    Edmund. "hello. i am a probe droid. this is my star destroyer now."

  • edited July 2009
    Posted By: rafialMike Mulvihill: for the simple passion he brings to the table, and for his amazing ability as a player to bring the NPCs around him to life, simply through the light of his own regard.
    I also wanna elaborate about the Wednesday night 4E / Mouse Guard table I share with Mike and Wilhelm and a few others who are light posters here, or not members at all. Our table is composed of the nicest, lowest-maintenance bunch of guys you'll ever find. There's this easy vibe where we've all been around the block, we all know where the fun is, and we instinctively ignore the antifun. But at the same time, we aren't hobbled by weird gamer conservatism and one-true-wayism. We remain open to new paradigms and can adopt whatever crazy new indie weirdness comes through the door. We've played everything from M&M to IAWA to WFRP to Beast Hunters to Contenders to Mouse Guard to the BSG boardgame.

    When I'm DMing for them, I am continually amazed by the trust they extend in allowing me to lead them through a story. When I'm playing alongside them, our characters are like family. We slip into a comfortably dysfunctional mess of weird little ambitions. Our characters tease each other over pantslessness and bad dating choices, pausing just long enough to save the world. Our games are like little Farscapes.

    Our lineup is like this:

    Mike, who Wilhelm introduced above, is a fullback of a gamer, a big-hearted straightforward trouble-seeking missile. Mike chomps on adventure hooks with crocodile fury. Mike is awesome.

    Kristian is a born MG patrol leader. He doesn't strut despotically like a Captain Kirk, but when fun requires that he make a decision, he snaps it out. On multiple occasions last week, our patrol was about to descend into baby-birdism, but like a patient border collie, Kristian kept us moving forward. And when Kristian throws off the mantle of respectability and decides to make trouble, it is always interesting trouble. Kristian adopts baby owlbears, cuts deals with Orcus, experiments on freshmen, and assassinates mustaches. Kristian is awesome.

    Seth usually has some larger personal goal that he's hustling towards, whether he's building a mercenary company or a thieves' guild. He's the easiest guy in the world to plan adventures for. The word 'Seth' really ought to be a verb -- at our table, I don't think that we flag, I think that we Seth. Seth is awesome.

    Jon (emeritus) is like a buddy movie actor. He plays the kind of characters you can always go out and have a good time with. If someone's marked for death, it's even better. Jon is awesome. Alas, Jon had to move away. We miss you, man. Come home already, away from the profane gods and false practices of California.

    Dylan is brand-new (to me) and it's like he's always been here. He gets our thing and contributes his own blitzkrieg damn-the-torpedos thing. I was anxious about adding a sixth to our table, wanting to have the extra absence resilience but worried about destabilizing our zen. Those anxieties are silly. Dylan is awesome.

    And, of course, we have Wilhelm. Wil has many gamer virtues, but chief among them is a sublime touch with characterization. Wilhelm authors little moments of humanity; quiet devotion to one's god; quiet patronage to one's hirelings; quiet despair at one's idiot servants. And when he busts out the glee, as he did when he brought his WFRP familiar Rahumel online ... it is shocking dog-meowing-sunset-in-the-east madness. Wil is awesome.
  • thanks for reviving this thread, Brendan.

    i'll add a few and add to a few,

    Daniel Wood ran a game of DRYH for myself and others which redefined my idea of running games for people. He looked at my sheet, saw what i'd written, saw what i was excited about, saw why i was excited about it, then saw what i didn't want to be changed and what was up for twisting. Then he twisted all of that, without giving me the impression for a second that it was about anything but what i wanted. And he had me doing all the legwork, bouncing me between narrating for two different characters. It was wonderful. Afterwards i felt as if i'd been given a gift; the icing (on the gift) was that he enjoyed himself, too. We didn't even finish the game! But, wow, it was so great. I look forward to playing with him whenever we're within a stone's throw. I mean, plus his portrayal of Pauline, etc, etc. So gamazing.

    Andy Henderson, on the subject of good GMs, is one of those. A good GM. He does this awesome double-back thing, like we'll all be at the table and he'll be like, ok, hi. and we'll be like, hi. is this a game here? and he'll be like, yes absolutely. and we'll be like, what's going on in it? and he'll be like, what are your characters doing? and we'll get all wound up just bouncing off each other and making up shit and then suddenly all that shit we were making up is suddenly a plot and we're really fighting a witch and he already statted her up, but like when did that happen? David just made her up a few minutes ago. Now the giant statue that was table dressing is jumping up out of the ruins to fight us. we saw it a second ago but we didn't suspect anything, which is the weird thing. Because, like, giant statue of evil buddha is OBVIOUSLY gonna attack you, right? except king of casual description and spastic reaction, Andy is behind the wheel. and he'll be all like, guys, there is no wheel. But there is too, we can see it right there, you big liar! just because we can't see the strings doesn't mean you're not making us dance! and making us love it!

    Christian Griffen dude is amazing. If i stand up at the table more than once or twice in a session, it's because christian's at the table. and chances are those extra times are because i can't describe the cool flip or double handed overhead attack my character is doing without half acting it out. I have a powerful battery. Christian is made out of electricity. It's true.

    Michael Pearsson, sorry if i don't know how to spell your name. I love playing with you, you always come up with the awesome thing that i wouldn't; we're on wildly different wavelengths (you know, sometimes) but as soon as you say it, whatever it is that you're adding to the story, it just makes so much sense and couldn't be any other way. You just nail it! every time, you kick the scene harder and make it work better. turn it over, show me new sides. I love playing with you.

    Willem, you crotchety old maniac. You're never too proud for the low status role, and you bring respect to every role that i've seen you in. You do justice to the people you pretend to be, and that's not a usual thing. Aside from being such a pleasure to play with b/c you understand the dynamics of the players around the table so well and where the game can fall apart in the social sphere, you bring the radicallity within the fiction, too. Yeah, man. let's do more.

    and a thousand others, of course. but hell, it's late, and i don't wanna grab up all the good folks to describe. Thanks to all ya all.
  • Matthew Klein Intense concentration on character portrayal that makes any tabletop game feel almost larpy.
  • Johnzo: Piling onto this love-fest because he really does ROCK as a player. The first time I ever played with John, I thought maybe he was a little too over-the-top. But then I realized that he was picking his spots to be awesome. He is not afraid to go to the wall with his roleplaying, and I can really appreciate that now.

    Jackson: Only played with Jackson a few times, but I love his sheer creative honesty as a player. For reals.

    Brendan: Damn it, the guy "seems" so quiet and unassuming. But then he finds that crazy place and suddenly he's rappelling down from a helicopter over the compound, guns blazing. Metaphorically, of course.

    Morningstar: After gaming with him a few times, I can now see why his old three-person games sang so much. He is completely fearless about taking on a role and pushing it to the limit. He played Lady "Twilight" Blackbird as so much of a Russian noble ice-queen that it made me go back to the character sheet to make changes. And he instinctively creates opposition for his characters. A lot to learn there.

    Willem: He brings an emotional sensitivity to the table that I find refreshing. The first time I play Grey Ranks I want it to be with HIM.

    Robert Earley-Clark: He is the master of thousand bad European accents. He can also take a few choice words on a pregen character sheet and run a mile with them.

    Matthew Klien: WTF?! Just where does this guy get off pushing his characters to the max while simultaneously supporting the other PC's agendas at the table and adding life to scenes where once there was none? Do us a favor and stop with the improv classes. You're making us all look bad!
  • Jonathan Walton: When teaching, he boils the essentials of play down to pithy advice and trusts the players to figure the rest out. He a cool, and understated, presence at the table. And he advocates fun for the group as whole, holding his own ideas for character or plot lightly.
  • Ray Geoffroy: "I get -10 to hit just for looking at him? What's the penalty for being blindfolded? Only -2? Hell yes!" Also: "I want a fight scene with the Statue of Liberty."

    Emma White: for playing just about anything. Also for "Sorry I charged them. I forgot I wasn't playing Exalted."

    Evan Hughes: You might play the same character in every game... but we love him.

    So many other folks I could name. I have very few players who don't have moments of awesome.
  • edited July 2009
    I'd like to thank Steve Dempsey and Graham Walmsley for transfoming mediocre gaming sessions into truly adequate ones. And I'd like to thank my mum and my agent, too.
  • C. - yeah, I know it's not his full name. He likes his anonymity. I have to say, it's like having a backup gamemaster with him around. Got somebody who looks a little left out? Given enough leash he'll build entire scenes, entertain a group for an hour or two in a way that gets them all active, and leave the plot completely intact when it's all done. In a larp, where the gm can never pay attention to everyone all the time, this can be a gamesaver. He's also really good at pointing out abusive players (as in players who abuse others, not characters who are abusive) and the mindgames they tend to play.

    Because taking care of the players is more important than taking care of the characters.
  • edited July 2009
    Shael Riley. He enthusiastically plays the weirdest, quirkiest, and most interesting characters in a game. In structured games with assumed party dynamics, this doesn't work out, but put him in a game where he's free to take more narrative control and he takes off. He's also eager to push the envelope with character ideas, and he's one of the only people I really play "I will not abandon you" style with. One of my favorite characters of his was a Sons of Ether from a Mage game who wore gloves, ate only white bread and drank only water, and brought the dead back to life. With science!
  • edited July 2009
    Eric Larsen. I was in one game with him at Dexcon and it made me want to follow him around for the rest of the convention. He played four or so different characters in my Final Girl game, and it made me want to design a Fan Mail type system so that I could reward him for making me lose my shit constantly.
  • edited June 2010
    I went looking for this thread because I didn't participate before and because, well, GPNW.

    Blake Hutchins Best. Viking. King. Evar. So you do Sci-Fi Noir and you do Shakespeare too? What the hell? NOT FAIR! Your descriptions put me right in our session's game world. But what should I expect from someone who sits down to a Nordic blood opera wearing a frackin' Mjǫllnir necklace? I'm bringing some Portlanders down to Eugene this summer so we can rock out some more.

    Jackson Tegu I finally got to play with you! I love your focused intensity. It's like you come to the table, listen, and then get to work. The choices you make seem to be built upon the urge to make others awesome. I love that. I wish our LitToS session could have been longer; I can tell that you were laying some groundwork that would be even more richly rewarded. I envy people who get to play multiple sessions with you.

    johnzo I finally got to play with you too! You're like a tsunami machine of off-the-cuff mad character quotables. You're like my uber-talented improv teacher from a few years back. I hate that guy! And you've received enough love (all justified, dammit) in this thread I've necro'd.

    Eric J. Boyd The icy fanaticism of your Cecille from Montsegur last year still gives me the shivers. And then you rocked the first Robot Daredevil I'd seen to date with THRX-99 in Danger Patrol. Bravo! Your Dr. Quantum thread/gift made my GM'ing job so much easier. Thank you. And a fellow heist film aficionado! I'm dropping a gaming slot next year to talk more with people like you.

    Matthew Sullivan-Barrett I wish we could game together all the time! I loathed stealing your Simon Sweetwater character's coin collection; you made him a real and sympathetic (in Fiasco terms) character in a den of harpies, thieves, and low-lifes. You have great instincts. Trust them more. You're great at setting others up to shine as well. Plus, you are a Matthew.

    Ping You don't have enough love in in this thread! That is just totally fucking wrong! I was super happy to find out I was going to be rocking Harper's Apocalypse World with you. Perfect comedic timing made your "I got shot!" quote my favorite of the weekend. Plus, you are a relentlessly awesome organizer! The dramatic talents of the flakes, punks and slackers in this hobby would wither on the vine w/o people like you! Thank you for pushing me to run a second session of LitToS in my final session when I was being a weenie. I had a great game with Ben, Dale, and Michael. You are a catalyst of fun!

    My regular posse in Portland. You guys all rock. You know who you are. I look forward to growing old (even older) pretending with all of you. I am Fortune's favorite son for making your acquaintances.
  • edited June 2010
    This is a terrific thread. Though it makes me exceedingly blue to be stuck in Oklahoma, with little time and less cash to get to conventions.
  • Bret

    His characters are full of pathos and break my heart. He is a very still player, sometimes I worry that I have lost him or that he is not enjoying himself but then he says something and his character exudes such longing for something that we know they'll likely never get and it just makes me kvell.

    One character that stands out was his generational debtor in Misspent Youth was a living billboard for appropriated hip-hop fast food corporation and it was hard to watch his scenes.
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