Player: Maer

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Name: Maer (most commonly used alias to protect the guilty and avoid embarrassing her friends...well, protect the guilty, anyway.)
Age: Old enough to drive a car, young enough to avoid Social Security checks.
Bio: Artist. Writer. Happily married. Mom. All else subject to change without notice, and often does. Easily distracted by shiny things.
Birthday: 31 March

Q. Why RPG gaming?
A. Why not? It's a great way to make up a story and share it. It's an opportunity to act out all those bathroom mirror fantasies that would otherwise have you hogging the sink when others in your household have to brush their teeth or pee. It's a great reason to step away from your laptop and get out of the house. I'd call that a solid win.

Q. What attracted you to this particular game setting?
A. Science fiction. Western. Guns. Spaceships. Blowing stuff up. Oh, and the chance to play a paranoid scrappy underdog who's a mechanical wizard and can do complex mathematics in her head. What's not to love?

Q. What has kept you interested in this particular game and setting?
A. The plot and the players. Definitely the players.

Q. Which character in Mutineers do you play?
A. Marina Kseniya Sebastien. Ship's engineer and resident Twitch. I may play others in subsequent campaigns but Rina will always be my first and best.

Q. Where did you get the idea for your character?
A. A little Princess Leia, a little La Femme Nikita (Luc Besson's movie, not that regrettable Peta Wilson vehicle), a little Allistair MacLean, a little Tom Clancy, a lot of wish fulfillment. I basically made up someone that I'm not, yet would still like to be. I mean, really. Have you seen my car? Good mechanics are hard to find, and interesting characters even harder.

Q. Name one way your character is not like you.
A. If I had to pick only one, I'd have to say rape survivor. I'd had a safe and comfortable childhood and she's from a hard knocks background.

Q. Name one way your character is like you.
A. One rotten man from the past.

Q. Do you mean to say that role playing involves taking real-life experiences and using them?
A. Sometimes. Usually sheer imagination is sufficient to do the job.

Q. This Serenity campaign seems to generate a lot of outside-game writing. Where did you get the ideas for the journal entries you've written?
A. I'm only just getting the hang of writing, but I am the sort that takes any source of inspiration I can find and I use it in my gaming, my art, and in my writing. Everything's potential material, nothing is useless. Quite a lot of what I put in my writing are my own experiences and observations, my own likes and dislikes. I can't claim to have ever been abused or shot or been an undercover agent on a clandestine operation, but I can research the details and imagine how they would work.

Also, it helps tremendously to have a small set of characters to constantly write about. After a while, they set up housekeeping in your head and pretty soon, you can eavesdrop on their conversations and observe them going about their daily business---in a manner of speaking. Familiarity breeds realism. If I have Rina stub her toe on the furniture in the dark, I know exactly what she'd say and how she'd say it. I'll know what she's wearing and why she's sneaking around in the dark. That's what comes of having her in my head for a little over 3 (now nearly 8) years. Just like a friend you've had for a long time, after a while you acquire a grasp of what your characters will or will not do and --more importantly-- why.

So when it comes to writing the out-game pieces, it's simply a matter of closing my eyes, watching my characters and writing what I see. I'm basically watching the movie and trying to write everything on the screen down. Which would explain why I'm so fixated on details--it's hard to write what I see when the movie set is missing.

Q. One last question. Do you think you will tire of the game and the setting, and go on to something else entirely?
A. No. Science fiction is my first love and has always been a part of my internal landscape. Over the years, elements from my travels and from my voracious reading got added to that universe in my head and it's one of the reasons why I love Whedon's 'Verse so much--it's borrowed like crazy from all over and feels right me. And thanks to Joss and Firefly, there are people who feel comfortable in that universe and are willing to play there. It's so much more fun if you have others to share the sandbox with, and the Firefly/Serenity sandbox is a damned fun one to play in. Who can say no to that?

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