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Sample Interview
Below is a sample interview from a player who recently interviewed with us in order to get into the Friday evening game. This is an example of what to do if you want to get REJECTED for a game. As I've stated elsewhere, the interview is your first chance to demonstrate to us that there is a "fit" with respect to maturity and compatibility with the player dynamic in any of the campaigns.

Interviews do not follow a standard format, by the way. Both the players and myself participate in the interview in order to get more of a sense of how a potential player might be if he or she were invited to join a game. We take this somewhat seriously, as our campaigns tend to last quite a long time. Therefore, we're fairly specific about the type of player we're looking for -- someone who is creative, respectful, considerate and mature, and who would particularly enjoy a campaign where there is an unusually high degree of role-playing as opposed to combat or hack-and-slash.

A note: The player in question has had his name replaced by "John Doe" in order to protect his identity.

Thanks for reading.

* * *

(1402) Lunauc (enter): 22:52
(1419) Dj Gilcrease (enter): 22:53
(1402) Lunauc: and to think.. I was about to go to bed. : P
(1419) Dj Gilcrease: Donovan seems to be AFK
(1469) TaliesinNYC: hum
(1419) Dj Gilcrease: I only seen me Lunac and Don, have not seen any of the others
(1469) TaliesinNYC: well ok
(1469) TaliesinNYC: ah
(1469) TaliesinNYC: Zane isn't here tonight
(1402) Lunauc: ara ara....
(1419) Dj Gilcrease: That still leaves our smelly goblin and favorit elf MIA
(1476) Lunauc (enter): 23:05
Attempting to assign the role of PLAYER to (1476) Lunauc...
(1469) TaliesinNYC: so table it then?
** (1419) Dj Gilcrease shrugs **
(1419) Dj Gilcrease: Only two of us so cant do much, and the only thing Sevis plans to do if figure out how the city and his companions will react to his new friend
(1395) Donovan (enter): 23:09
(1419) Dj Gilcrease: three of us now :)
(1365) John Doe (enter): 23:09
(1395) Donovan: Was afk with pizza
(1365) John Doe (exit): 23:10
(1478) Lunauc (enter): 23:12
(1478) Lunauc: I'm back again!
Attempting to assign the role of PLAYER to (1395) Donovan...
Attempting to assign the role of PLAYER to (1478) Lunauc...
Attempting to assign the role of PLAYER to (1419) Dj Gilcrease...
(1469) TaliesinNYC: Booting '(1402) Lunauc' from room...
(1402) Lunauc (exit): 23:14
Attempting to assign the role of PLAYER to (1476) Lunauc...
(1469) TaliesinNYC: Booting '(1476) Lunauc' from room...
(1476) Lunauc (exit): 23:14
(1469) TaliesinNYC: hm
(1480) John Doe (enter): 23:16
(1469) TaliesinNYC: might as well do an interview for this player for the Friday game
(1478) Lunauc: ... ok
(1469) TaliesinNYC: so why don't you tell us a little about yourself John Doe?
(1480) John Doe: Well, been on Open for about...6 or so years. In my last semester at college. Been playing dnd since I was 8, when my babysitter got me into it. In addition to college, I do part time work at a TV station (my major) and work with WotC on some stuff. Outside of computer stuff I have other interests which may or may not be relevant to this.
(1469) TaliesinNYC: and what interests you about the Fri game? by the way, two of the players here are also in the Fri game and will also ask you questions
(1469) TaliesinNYC: please be as specific as possible
(1480) John Doe: Kind of hard to be specific. Outside of the work you obviously put into the campaign, via the site and your process, I'm mainly looking for a game that will actually last for more then 2 weeks before 75% of the players and/or dm disappear.
(1469) TaliesinNYC: I see
(1483) Lunauc (enter): 23:22
(1469) TaliesinNYC: can you tell us a little about your play preferences then?
Attempting to assign the role of PLAYER to (1483) Lunauc...
(1483) Lunauc: ... so many disconnects...
(1469) TaliesinNYC: Booting '(1478) Lunauc' from room...
(1478) Lunauc (exit): 23:22
(1419) Dj Gilcrease: well I have been in the Friday game since 2003, and Lunac was there before me.
(1469) TaliesinNYC: Veav isn't exactly stable
(1419) Dj Gilcrease: Not with as many people as are on it right now
(1419) Dj Gilcrease: The lower the population the more stable the server is going to be in the case of droping players
(1480) John Doe: Well, to be honest, I'd prefer a higher leveled game, which was why I originally wanted to join THIS one. However, having to wake up at 7 am EST for work put a crimp into that. I like a mix of roleplaying and hack and slash. I like playing a hero OR a villian. Someone larger then life, not someone who's stuck in mundane day to day tasks. I like feeling a sense of accomplishment, and some of the ways that happens in an RPG are the various means, gold, items, experience. Also, the other, less tangible rewards, such as titles, alliances, etc.
(1469) TaliesinNYC: XP isn't as fast as you'll expect
(1480) John Doe: I realize that. How often do you level in the friday game, on average?
(1419) Dj Gilcrease: XP is VERY slow. 9 levels in three years slow
(1483) Lunauc: hmmm... let me think... when did family guy come back on the air?
(1469) TaliesinNYC: dunno
(1469) TaliesinNYC: I don't watch TV
(1419) Dj Gilcrease: XP and leveling, to me anyways, is just a method to alow the story to move on, not a reward or something you strive toward
(1483) Lunauc: :shakes head: How uncultured of you
(1480) John Doe: Well I disagree on that. XP and leveling are part of the reward structure for most games. A benchmark to show your accomplishments
(1419) Dj Gilcrease: I can tell you right now if you feel that XP and leveling is a bigger reward then the actual story acomplishments of your character that you will not fit into either the Friday or Saterday games
(1483) Lunauc: I fall in the middle on the debate. Levelling shows the growth and experience of your character. You gain new strenght, new abilities, it shows how your character has changed along the way. That is a reward. the satisfaction of accomplishment.
(1469) TaliesinNYC: Yes perhaps but if your expectation is XP, gold treasure and the like, we don't want you to think that's par for the course in the Fri or the Sat game because they're not. By most standards, the two camps are slow XP and relatively low magic (the Mel Nethra camp being the exception)
(1483) Lunauc: However.. it should also fit the timeline of the story.
(1483) Lunauc: So little time has passed in game for our characters, it almost doesn't make sense that they are 9th level, even though we out of game have been playing for so long
(1480) John Doe: How long in campaign have you played compared to Real Life
(1419) Dj Gilcrease: I agree with that Lunauc, I was just trying to stress that XP is a background though. As I think the last time we recived an actual XP reward (Other then the you gain a new level type) was when Kha put the gold mace in the statues hand
(1483) Lunauc: I'd say it's been a few months, though Stan would know better
(1395) Donovan: It's a little hard to say, exactly...
(1469) TaliesinNYC: about four months not counting your time in Martek's citadel which was on another plane of existence
(1469) TaliesinNYC: where time flows differently
(1483) Lunauc: Yeah.. so , not that long really
(1480) John Doe: Seems somewhat short. There's been NO downtime whatsoever campaign wise?
(1480) John Doe: What about those who wanted to take the time to say... craft something?
(1469) TaliesinNYC: there hasn't been
(1469) TaliesinNYC: yet, in any event
(1483) Lunauc: Pretty much. The characters are always on the move. I know usually in my campaigns it takes maybe 2-5 years in character to go 9 levels
(1480) John Doe: That seems strange. What if a character WANTED downtime? How would you handle it?
(1419) Dj Gilcrease: My character has taken time to do research, but other then that noone else has asked for down time so there hasnt been any
(1469) TaliesinNYC: it depends on what you want
(1469) TaliesinNYC: and as circumstances dictate
(1469) TaliesinNYC: too many variables in the question, be more specific
(1483) Lunauc: First the character must fill out a Work Leave Request form...
(1419) Dj Gilcrease: lol
(1480) John Doe: Ok, next question: why does the story move so slowly? Whats the reasoning behind it?
(1419) Dj Gilcrease: the story is moving slowly?
(1480) John Doe: 4 months in 3 years campaign work is somewhat slow, yes.
(1419) Dj Gilcrease: I am having trubble keeping up with everything that is going on as is, I wouldnt want it moving much faster
(1469) TaliesinNYC: its RP focused
(1483) Lunauc: Signed in triplicate, stamped by the magister, viewed by three noble lords, recieved and processed by a notary clerk, and then returned to the Dm who gives you an odd look and says, "Sure... then you can figure out how to keep up with the three prophecies your suppose to be handling"
(1469) TaliesinNYC: I would say the story moves quite fast all things considered
(1469) TaliesinNYC: we place very little emphasis on combat
(1469) TaliesinNYC: heh Lunauc
(1469) TaliesinNYC: the Fri camp is roughly 2/5 done in terms of plot
(1483) Lunauc: no.. it's more like compact. As said, there's hardly ever any downtime. we go from one quest to the next without stopping. It's more like adventuring on crack
(1480) John Doe: But if its only moved 4 months or so game time, then little would be done RP wise, outside of getting to know each other. 4 months isnt very long for an RP driven game, it would seem.
(1469) TaliesinNYC: that depends on perspective
(1469) TaliesinNYC: look at LotR
(1469) TaliesinNYC: the Ringbearer went from the Shire to Mordor in something like 8 months
(1480) John Doe: Please don't use LotR. It was overly wordy and choked you with needless exposition.
(1469) TaliesinNYC: right
(1480) John Doe: Plus, within those 8 months a lot was packed into it. Several battles and wars were fought, as well as minor skirmishes.
(1469) TaliesinNYC: yes
(1469) TaliesinNYC: the same as the Fri camp
(1480) John Doe: If you ARE going to use that as a comparision, one needs to have both the exposition AND the combat. Otherwise it becomes unbalanced.
(1469) TaliesinNYC: several combats, a major prophecy, the reconciliation of two groups of people in a beleaguered country and so forth
(1469) TaliesinNYC: the defeat of one of the plot's major villains
(1469) TaliesinNYC: well you haven't read the logs
(1469) TaliesinNYC: because if you had, you wouldn't necessarily have made that earlier statement
(1480) John Doe: Why assume I haven't read the logs, because I ask you questions concerning some things I may be curious about or have issues with.
(1469) TaliesinNYC: It seems that you haven't
(1480) John Doe: It just seems to me to be paradoxical, to call it RP intensive, yet say you have several battles over the campaign, yet have little growth.
(1469) TaliesinNYC: as said before, it depends on perspective
(1480) John Doe: And I wanted it cleared up as to why before committing to a course.
(1480) John Doe: Hence why I asked.
(1469) TaliesinNYC: ask the players then if they think its RP intensive relative to other campaigns
(1395) Donovan: Believe me, we can drag out 2 minutes for hours.
(1419) Dj Gilcrease: Like we said earlyer XP isnt the focus of the game, the story is. If we actualy calculated the XP for every thing we have killed or had a hand in killing we would probably be level 14 or so, but thats not how XP is delt with
(1395) Donovan: We're getting better though
(1483) Lunauc: Intensive as in 'stop! I can't tale any more RP!' or 'Oh yeah, that's some good RP' ?
(1480) John Doe: I see, DJ.
(1469) TaliesinNYC: I hand out XP when it makes sense storywise for the PCs to advance, not when they reach an arbitrary numerical threshold
(1469) TaliesinNYC: not sure if that's helpful
(1469) TaliesinNYC: and as they become higher in level, the span between levelling increases geometrically
(1483) Lunauc: Right.. so in ten more years we'll be epic!
(1469) TaliesinNYC: heh
(1469) TaliesinNYC: next question, what is your PC preference and why?
(1480) John Doe: I don't have a PC preference per say. I basically look at the campaign, as well as whatever seems to fit my fancy at the time I create the character.
(1469) TaliesinNYC: what do you usually play though?
(1480) John Doe: Partially, dice rolls help me modify this, as certain rolls fit certain archetypes better.
(1480) John Doe: Usually a mixture of classes, that allow me to fufill the concept I want.
(1469) TaliesinNYC: ok...what do you TEND to gravitate towards then?
(1395) Donovan: What kind of concept do you aim for?
(1480) John Doe: Again, I DON'T. It depends on what concept I have in my head. For instance, right now I'm considering a planeswalking warriors, a mysterious monk from a far away land, and a sorcerer trying to learn the secrets of metamagic mastery.
(1419) Dj Gilcrease: Or what character concepts do you enjoy the most. Mine are the Protector or Knowlage seeker
(1480) John Doe: Usually I try to master something: whether it be political power, magical power, or physical prowess, if anything.
(1480) John Doe: Usually trying to master 2 or 3 things.
(1469) TaliesinNYC: so do you have any specific questions for the players?
(1480) John Doe: Not really. I try to not find out how a game works from the players. I like to have an untainted view, for the most part. Helps against preconceptions.
(1469) TaliesinNYC: Very well then. One last question
(1469) TaliesinNYC: this is the "Bob" question
(1469) TaliesinNYC: Bob is a regular LN fighter, rather average stats and totally vanilla
(1469) TaliesinNYC: tell us how you would play him
(1469) TaliesinNYC: what kind of personality would he have and so forth
(1483) Lunauc: vanilla fighter.. he would be whipped and have plenty of nuts
(1480) John Doe: I can't really say. Since he'd have average stats, and nothing to really put him in the spotlight mechanics wise, then roleplay wise he'd probably be the same. After all, he has nothing that physically showcases him, so that's how he'd be personality wise to.
(1480) John Doe: Stay in the background, sharpening his sword, answering things when asked, but otherwise staying quiet and doing his job.
(1469) TaliesinNYC: what would be his background, if you could think of one on the fly?
(1480) John Doe: From a generic standpoint, odds are ol Bob would have been the son of a more famous fighter, one who taught him despite Bob's definencies in raw attributes. He'd have a somewhat lackluster life, having little drive and ambition to go along with his completely average charisma score, as charisma is force of personality.
(1480) John Doe: He'd have a decent range of weapons, mastering none but not being very good with any. Probably just a working guy, making his way in the world. He'd hire himself out as a mercenary mostly.
(1480) John Doe: After all, he realizes he's not going to make an impact in the world, so why bother?
(1483) Lunauc: ...
(1480) John Doe: He's a solid guy, but he isn't going to be very pushy. An average guy, all around.
(1483) Lunauc: I disagree. If you think the numbers are all that makes a character what they are, you're losing a lot of their potential. I get what you mean though, charisma is a guage of how personable a person is strength is their physical prowess, intelligence, etc, but you don't have to play it average just because the numbers are
(1480) John Doe: You can disagree if you like. However, you're wrong. Charisma IS the force of a persons personality.
(1480) John Doe: Mechanically speaking. And it'd be WRONG to play a person with average charisma as a go getter type who stands in the spotlight.
(1480) John Doe: It'd be as bad as having a 6 intelligence creature spouting poetry while doing advanced math.
(1419) Dj Gilcrease: umm none of a characters stats include his ambition though
(1480) John Doe: A person with average abilities physically will, 99 times out of 100, be average in personality as well, and that's how I'd play it.
(1483) Lunauc: A fighter with a low strenghth score might just be the short scrappy guy, low charisma might mean he's ugly or mumbles. Just saying his stats or average so he'd a plain guy is losing a lot of RP
(1480) John Doe: Abilities shape personality DJ
(1480) John Doe: wrong. Lun. Charisma in 3.5 is force of personality, not just looks, or 'mumbling'
** (1419) Dj Gilcrease shakes his head **
(1483) Lunauc: it's a comination of appearance and personality
(1480) John Doe: It's mostly strength of personality. Looks have a small impact, if any.
(1483) Lunauc: whatever impresses you upon others
(1483) Lunauc: if that were true why is Jessica Simpson ever on tv?
(1480) John Doe: Well, that's your opinion.
(1480) John Doe: Because she has a good publicist, and people are idiots who look blondes on their tv.
(1480) John Doe: Oh, and her psycho dad.
(1480) John Doe: THATS why she's on TV.
(1480) John Doe: But that's a straw man anyway. We're not discussing real world examples, but dnd world examples. And in DnD, looks plays a small, almost unnoticable impact in charisma.
(1483) Lunauc: ....
(1483) Lunauc: then why do adventures always hit on the princess and not the drunken half-orc chick that was fun to hang out with until she started batting her eyes at them?
(1480) John Doe: rank, mostly. and again, strawman.
(1419) Dj Gilcrease has sent you a tree node...
(1480) John Doe: half-orcs gain a penalty to charisma not for looks, but for the orcish weaker personality. otherwise the charisma penalty would be a conditional modifier for those races who don't find orcs attractive.
(1480) John Doe: in fact, a "half-orc" can technically look 99% human
(1480) John Doe: and still incur the charisma penalty.
(1483) Lunauc: ara ara... I do understand what you're saying. I know that the stat numbers are a representation of a persons capabilities. I'm just saying it's not a strict guideline that keeps you from being creative with your character. Just because your stats are average doesn't mean you have to sit in the back and sharpen your sword while 'the grown ups talk'
(1480) John Doe: Well, for me, it's bullshit to NOT play a character according to their abilities, and call it creative. It's a crutch. If you have average stats, you ARENT going to be a superior person.
(1480) John Doe: It's like my example earlier of the low intelligent person.
(1480) John Doe: I wouldn't roleplay them as a genius, able to do hundreds of academic challenges.
(1480) John Doe: Neither would I play a mid/low charisma person as if they had HIGH charisma.
(1483) Lunauc: It doesn't mean your character couldn't have been striving for something even if they aren't the best. It doesn't mean they can't be heroic. It doesn't mean they can't have an interesting past, personality or future. Yes, a character with a low intelligence will be dumb, but that doesn't mean he's useless or uninteresting
(1480) John Doe: A person with average charisma would have a low force of personality, and likely WOULDN't always be in the middle of things, voicing their opinion.
(1480) John Doe: I never said he wouldn't be heroic. That's YOUR preconception based on his background.
(1480) John Doe: I just said he wouldn't be in the spotlight.
(1480) John Doe: Nor did I say he was useless
(1480) John Doe: or uninteresting.
(1480) John Doe: Again, that was your preconception. All I said was he was a quiet sort who wouldn't be in the thick of things. It wouldn't be in his nature.
(1480) John Doe: Not only would the other group members likely be talking about something that was beyond his intelligence, he just wouldn't have the strength of personality to step in for no reason willy nilly.
(1483) Lunauc: hmmm.. I can't say that you don't make sense. I only argue that it isn't the only way to view the numbers, not that your interpretation is wrong.
(1480) John Doe: Well, as I stated before, I believe in roleplaying my stats. If i'm an average statted person, then I'm not going to be the main hero personality wise. It just doesn't fit the stats, and, frankly, is a bit of a copout.
(1483) Lunauc: I believe the story is not dependant on stats, but on the interest of others. Someone in Real Life can be completely average can have people believe in them and follow them, even if they have things about them that make them superior. But I won't argue how you play your character, only that you have a good time doing it.
(1500) Lellick (enter): 00:24
(1501) John Doe (enter): 00:25
(1419) Dj Gilcrease: Sat a character was truly heroic and blassed by the gods with 20 in every single stat. Then a wizard comes along and does 8 to 10 permanat ability damage to each of his stats. Does his personality change?
(1419) Dj Gilcrease: (( *Say ))
(1501) John Doe: Well, as I stated before, I believe in roleplaying my stats. If i'm an average statted person, then I'm not going to be the main hero personality wise. It just doesn't fit the stats, and, frankly, is a bit of a copout.
(1501) John Doe: Let's use an analogy on that DJ
(1501) John Doe: Say you're blessed with a body that allows you to run the 100m dash faster then anyone you know, benchpress 400 pounds, able to do backflips, and have a genius level iq. People always love you as well.
(1501) John Doe: Say you have a disease that causes your body to waste away, and your brain to take light damage, making you dumber
(1501) John Doe: in addition, you cant seem to make friends nearly as well.
(1501) John Doe: do YOU think your personality would change based on that?
(1501) John Doe: and before you answer, yes: it would.
(1501) John Doe: :-p
(1419) Dj Gilcrease: no
(1483) Lunauc: yeah.. that's kind of a silly question..
(1419) Dj Gilcrease: His actions may change, but the personality would not
(1501) John Doe: ...umm.. yes. it would.
(1501) John Doe: having a severe and sudden disability ALWAYS changes a personality
(1395) Donovan: You'd most likely see something specifically similar about the person before and after... I'd not be surprised for there to be some kind of personality shift.
(1501) John Doe: it's been scientifically verified and studied.
(1500) Lellick: Wow, this is something that's really subjective
(1483) Lunauc: wrong... he'd soon find he can't do things he could always do before. He'd be frustrated and struggle with things that use to come easy.
Attempting to assign the role of PLAYER to (1500) Lellick...
(1500) Lellick: ..stupid orange font.. anyway
(1501) John Doe: Thinking otherwise is just naive, and unscientific.
(1469) TaliesinNYC: Booting '(1480) John Doe' from room...
(1480) John Doe (exit): 00:29
(1483) Lunauc: The people that didn't really know him, and only praised his abilites, would either turn away or pity him, and the super-gifted guy wouldn't know how to deal with that
(1500) Lellick: Personality shifts happen all the time due to just.. living, even if it's not something extreme. What happens to a person shapes how they view the world
(1419) Dj Gilcrease: ok maybe I am talking about the person not their personality. A persons goals and ambitions would not just change over night because some major event made it harder for them to achive their goals.
(1395) Donovan: What effect do you think Bob's supreme warrior father's expectations have had on him, though?
(1500) Lellick: I do agree with that, though it might depend on how driven the person is in the first place ;)
(1501) John Doe: Ah, someone noticed that little gem I added.
(1501) John Doe: Yes, part of his insular nature DOES come from his very famous and overbearing father.
(1483) Lunauc: I'm pretty sure if you were struck dumb, weak and clumsy all at once... some goals would become rather unreachable
(1501) John Doe: Which, if one took the time to find out about, could help Bob come out of his shell.
(1501) John Doe: Though it'd take work.
(1501) John Doe: And, if it failed, would cause him to become even more introverted.
(1483) Lunauc: ah... very thoughtful of you
(1501) John Doe: Yeah. Just because his public personality doesn't seem shining doesn't mean it lacks depth.
(1501) John Doe: can you re-email me the link? that way i can bookmark it
(1469) TaliesinNYC: Tolmara campaign
(1501) John Doe: Like I said, I'd appreciate it emailed if possible.
(1469) TaliesinNYC: you don't have it already bookmarked?
(1501) John Doe: Was going to, but accidently cut the power on my computer before doing it.
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