Neil "Eldritch" Kusleika
|Photo by Mike Palumbo|
How long have you been playing?
Reaching back in the mists of time, I believe my first event was in the fall of ’84.
How has the game changed since you've been playing?
Radically. When I began playing there was no ‘Realms’. There was a very loose community of people playing the game and throwing events. Fifty people was a big event. Rules changed significantly from event to event. The magic system was quite minimal: magic missile, raise dead, heal limb, with EHs putting out items, scrolls and potions to facilitate their plots. No one had armor and if you did it didn’t usually help out much as you were the only one and there was no way to fix it. No one knew the first thing about fighting or strategy.
Who have you learned the most from?
Swan. He introduced me to the game and taught me to fight before my first event and has been my truest companion through the years. However I believe that for good or ill we have something to learn from everyone.
What was your best moment IC?
The Glendale dungeon built and run by Shannon Slate and company, hands down. It was genius. Pure… evil…genius.
|Photo by Mike Palumbo|
What was your best moment as a NPC/EH/Player?
It’s been a long career and there have been many. Most of which I can’t discuss due to, shall we say, …contractual obligations. As an NPC/player I enjoy witnessing the use of strategy to good effect. On one such occasion I was playing a demon that the players were challenging to honorable combat…so I got to choose the terms of combat ;) Single combat to the death/scalp, no armor, 5’ swords, in private. There was a line of able knights and fighters. It was night and I was wearing a big fearsome demon mask which reduced my vision to minimal. Just by odds one should have beaten me quickly. But I arranged the fighting area so the minimal lighting favored me, and when lay on was called I didn’t hesitate before attacking (if someone circled I was doomed). Soon I had a dozen or so scalps and knightly belts in my possession (get it? Possession?), and several accusations of ambushing my opponents, due to simple elegant strategy. It’s that sort of thing that makes me deeply happy.
What would you like to see changed or developed more in game?
I would like to see a higher level of theatrical special effects to support mood and atmosphere (read: scare the bejeezus out of people). Achievable permanent character death.
What advice would you give new players?
Develop your character with quirks, but pick quirks that give you reason to interact with other players in some interesting way.
What do you love most about the game?
Scantily clad women, getting paid to kill people and take their things, hanging by the fire with old friends and making new ones.
Who would you like to see the next interview be with?
Anything else you'd like to take the opportunity to put into print?