AJ: My husband; 41 year old computer programmer who has, for the past 5 years, been a stay-at-home Dad. He is one of the two most frequent DMs/storytellers. He admits that he’s drawn to the idea that the PCs are supposed to be “heroic” characters, and every character he creates is, at heart, a “good guy” even when he is a gun-for-hire. AJ plays a fighter/rogue who goes by the name “Vermillion
AJ admits that in the group, he is the Rules Lawyer, the one who likes to understand how the rules work together, who views them as logic puzzles (even when they are their most illogical), who enjoys the mechanics as much as the role-playing. AJ likes to do character builds; when he comes up with a character, that character often has a strong view of what his long-term goals are, where he wants to be 5 or 10 years out. This creates some friction in the group sometime, since a couple of our group members view character builds as irreconcilable with the concept of role-playing. AJ has known and has been playing since at least junior high with Mike and John.
Mike: 36-37 year old kitchen designer/salesman, Mike likes characters who are somehow “different” from everyone else, physically, racially, or by ability. Thus, it was no surprise, really, when he decided to create a giant, Boeden Narwin. His favorite ST:TNG character was Wesley Crusher, and the running joke is that most of his characters are some variation of child prodigy. Mike likes the role-playing aspect above all else, and can (as the others say) enjoy role-playing tying his shoes. He likes when bad things happen to his character (family kidnaped, killed; social disgrace; etc.) because he likes “the role-playing challenge.” He greatly enjoys the “destined to save the world” type of campaign.
John: 41-year old butcher, John likes to play martially talented characters, and sometimes ones with a streak of cruelty. As a DM, though, John can’t stand characters who are motivated by money and having mercenary-types as part of his party perturbs him greatly. John hates intra-party strife, I’ve heard often the story about how, in one long ago campaign run by Nick (the “Black Band,” the campaign against which all others in the group are measured), when two PCs were going at each other, John’s archer pulled his bow and shot both of them to stop the fight. John weighs more on the roll-playing side of the scale. John’s character is Duran.
Nick: 29-year old English/Computer Sci anime-geek, Nick joined the group in high school, when he met AJ while they were both working retail, and later brought with him Chris and Giorgo. Nick is the other lead DM/storyteller. The first campaign he ever ran (when he was 18?) was the Black Band, a destiny/save the world campaign, in his own home-brew world, which (as I mentioned before) is the gold standard in the group. As a DM/storyteller, Nick likes presenting morally ambiguous situations (he also greatly enjoys White Wolf Vampire), and he likes morally ambiguous situations as a player. He weighs more towards the role-playing rather than roll-playing side. Yet with one exception (a character he is running in Mike’s campaign), many of the D&D characters he makes is, in one way or another, a huge damage-dealer. Nick decided to create a cleric, Athron Dolmen.
Chris: 29-year-old high school science teacher, Chris went to high school with Nick and Giorgo. Chris generally likes characters who can do a lot of damage, but his greatest thrill in role-playing comes from being able to “get away with things”: having his character somehow punk another character, to do things that the other characters might find repellent but not be discovered. His characters can range from either end of a moral scale, but it can be hard to tell sometimes where any particular character falls. Chris decided to create a Conan-inspired barbarian, Broc.
Giorgo: 29-year-old civil engineer/restaurant owner, Giorgo is the quiet observant one in the group. He likes to give his characters a unique twist in some way, and has an ability to make maximum use of a character’s abilities. Giorgo doesn’t do a lot of role-playing, but when he does he role-plays his character to the hilt, which can mean that he can drive a stake through a DM’s/storyteller’s plans simply by responding “Why would my character do that?” Giorgo’s character is a fighter/rogue, Cassick Arnaud.
As a first time-DM, my main plea to them was to make sure that, whatever they wanted to play, they accepted one thing: They would have to figure out a way in their own heads to justify having their characters travel/work together, because I was not up to trying to handle characters who wanted to go off on their own. If that meant they had back-up characters at the ready to switch in if they thought their main character just couldn’t or wouldn’t go along, then so be it.