Hello Lòrien, thank you very much for the interview. Would you please tell us something about yourself?
||Getting the DMs known - Lòrien
Hello, and not a problem. Happy to take part. Something about myself? I work as a trainer for the NHS (Englands public health service). I live in Bristol in England so am in the UK timezone.
I have quite an RPG background - like many I started with DnD, for me it was AD&D (second edition) although I used to (and probably still do) have copies of the first edition. In DnD I was always a player, from there friends and I moved through many different games, and at times I've been DM and player. My first DMing experience was a one off Judge Dredd adventure which I wrote and ran about 17 years ago. The main systems I DM'd though were Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, Aliens the RPG and Iron Crown Enterprises MERP (which I would hope we all know stands for Middle Earth Role Play). In fact it was the recognition of the MERP name that first drew me to this server. Nowadays I still DM PnP games - currently my favourite to DM is Serenity.
I bought NWN soon after it was released and played about half the original campaign with multiple characters - one day I may even finish it. Then a friend and I started playing stand alone modules together online. After a while we tried our first PW - a different ME module called War of the Ring. I have to say this was a happy home to me for quite some time - until the project fell apart.
A few players from there came to UTT (as it was back then) and let others of us know about how great this place was. I followed along and became quite involved in playing. After a while a Player Content Team was set up and I was lucky enough to be chosen to head it up. A lot of the work here was writing Tolkienesque descriptions for items - a great deal of which was done by myself and the player who was to become DM Olorin (sadly no longer with the server at this time).
In the fullness of time, and with UTT2 being around the corner this led to the two of us becoming DM's and the rest as they say is history. What that really means is I've been a DM since the end of December 2004 - although as my forums profile suggests it took me a little longer to set up a forum login.
Why did you chose Lòrien as your DM identity? If there is any reason.
There is a reason - Loòrien, as many will be aware, is linked to visions and dreams, and I am a massive fan of Neil Gaiman's acclaimed Sandman series, so I chose Lorien as an homage to Dream of the Endless - indeed I did what I could to make my DM avatar resemble Dream.
You are one of the eldest DMs that are still around. Do you remember one moment on the server which is the most funny, beautiful or even horrible?
I think one of the funniest moments I remember (a bit of shameless self promotion here) was back when we still ran an arena event every week. Lolinus had been drawn to fight against Argon Balros - both were of the same level and build the only real difference beiong race (dwarf v human) and weapon of choice (battleaxe v longsword) and I think it would be fair to say the fight was draggig. So after every third swing of his axe I had Lolinus knock back an Aules, even to the point that he collapsed due to alcohol a few times in the fight. I no longer remember who won the fight (I have a feeling it may have been Argon) but the memory still brings a smile to my face - and I would hope to others too.
I think the most beautiful moments have been exploring some of the new areas - Bree and The Shire stand out in particular.
What do you like especially on MERP?
I have to say the generally high level of RP and the attention to detail put in by the builders. Although not every player will agree with some of our visions of ME I think we've always strived to be as true to Tolkiens vision as possible.
And what do you dislike?
My two personal dislikes are players who will do a whole run of quests without even exchanging a single word in the talk channel - I know we don't all want to RP the whole time and that's fine, but I like to see some effort, the other is people who go out of their way for PvP. I've heard and acknowledged all the arguments for and against PvP but to me this is an RP server and if I want PvP I'll go to an Arena server. That said as long as people follow the ROSE PvP guide and give people a gracious opt out I'm not too worried.
Is there any stuff you build or script for the server?
I did some of the original work on the Shire, although what I did was the mere shell of the work Olòrin did to make it the area we know and love today. Lothlorien is totally mine, and as part of that I (with help) came up with a conditional spawn script - so that a spawn would only be triggered if you have the appropriate item in your inventory (this is used in at least one of the current Lothlòrien quests).
If so, on which project to you work at the moment? If you like to give us a little hint.
I'm currently work on a 'North of Mordor' project - this is areas including Dagorlad, The Brown Lands, Emyn Muil, The Dead Marshes, The Nindalf Marshes and others. It should fill up the areas between Rohan, Mordor and Mirkwood. It is currently only the areas themselves I'm working on, which will then be showcased to the team and we will all be looking at quests etc. to fill the areas. After that I intend to return to Lothlorien and finsh off the quest string there - that's going to be later though as there seems to be far too few mid level evil quests at the moment.
What feature would you like to see implemented?
I've always wanted to see a more dynamic reputation system. Where actions shift reps with different factions, and rather than quests completed your Rep with a faction would open or close quests to you. Alongside tis I'd like to see more areas offering quests to all level groups - however this would be an enourmous piece of work which I don't think we'd ever see - however dreaming is my domain.
Is there anything else you like to say?
I'd like to apologise to all players about my lack of DMing. Back when I started I was running semi-regular RP driven events, as often as not for evil characters, and these seemed to be very poular. However a change of roles at work has led to less free time so for now I'm going to stick to building. Once this busy period passes (which I hope it does) I would like to be more active DM-ing and running my events again.
And on that note I will finish for now, and in the words of one of my favourite films 'Don't dream it, Be it' - or don't just think about RP-ing that character - dit, you'll have more fun than you can imagine.
Many thanks, Lòrien!