Robyn "Sasha" Nielsen
How long have you been playing?
Since Queen of Hearts 1, back when it was held on an event site with llamas. So, a little while.
How has the game changed since you've been playing?
In addition to the mechanical changes mentioned in other interviews, the cast has changed a lot, as well. Some nations have fallen by the wayside, while new ones have sprung up. Others have stayed strong even though their active players have changed.
Who have you learned the most from?
This is a hard question! I like to think that I'm always learning, from many different people.
When I first started, I learned a lot about playing the game from Meerkat, Lornher, and Alcar. My first lessons in event-holding were in your old apartment, making props while listening to you, Carrie, and Pete talk about Nameless One plot, and occasionally contributing to the conversation. Actually, I still consider you my Event Holding mentor.
What was your best moment IC?
I love night quests at blue o'clock when we've been running around so long that I'm half delirious and start to be able to really experience things on a more in-character level. The Strongest Faction and the trip to Mechanus stand out in that regard.
One of my first moments of Realms confidence was at Four on the Floor, when Baba was leading our group. There was an SAT-style logic puzzle, and a whole bunch of people were arguing about which choice to make. I sat down, worked out the puzzle in my notebook, and told Baba, "It's that one." He said, "I trust Sasha" and hit it with no hesitation, and of course I was right and we moved on. It's good to be trusted!
What was your best moment as a NPC/EH/Player?
NPCing: I don't remember the name of the event, but Carrie Campbell was playing the Nameless One and I was playing the aspect of her that wanted to fail. The PCs had to convince me to confront her, and when I finally did we had this crazy back and forth yelling match that went on for quite some time. I remember some PCs just standing there looking really unnerved.
EHing: Having an entire event site convinced that we had just burned the Mace of Rhomer, and not a well-made replica.
Player: Getting voted into Folkestone!
What would you like to see changed or developed more in game?
I'd like to see more events where role-playing really affects the plot - where you don't just kill your way through or solve puzzle X to get gem Y to active portal Z, but interact with NPCs who are more than just caricatures, and who can be convinced to help you (or with whom you can make really bad deals). This is probably easier for smaller events than 100 person quests.
What advice would you give new players?
Always carry rope.
What do you love most about the game?
At its core, this is a game where vastly different groups and individuals all come together to tell each other a story. For some, it's a story about boldly charging in and earning glory and recognition. For others, it's a more subtle story that casual observers might not even hear. But whatever your playstyle or preferences, the moment you sign in to an event, you are placing yourself in a story with 30-200 other people, and the willingness of our community to go along with people's side plots and footnotes is what I will always love about this game.
Who would you like to see the next interview be with?
My favorite bard, Dano Knobel.
Anything else you'd like to take the opportunity to put into print?
Just that I think everyone should know that underneath Callin's gruff and intimidating exterior, he is secretly extremely cuddly. I may not have any evidence for this, but I'm pretty sure it's true. [Editor's Note: She is mistaken.]