Gaming Group Interviews #1: Sheimaruen

Posted: June 28, 2011 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Roleplaying Games

Alright, a bit of a vanity series of interviews here, starring the members of my gaming group.  Each interview will be completely off-the-cuff, and won’t have a set bunch of questions.  Still I’m aiming to get people to know where my players come from and what their various interests are with regards to gaming.

Today we talk to Sheimaruen, one of our two expert Exalted GMs, and a guy who has been playing RPGs since he was in high school  (an experience that was denied to me, as I ran Star Frontiers when I was 9, but only started RPGs again in college.)


Pointyman2000: Okay, first off, thanks for agreeing to this interview. Could you give me a background of how you got into RPG gaming?

Sheimaruen: Class night during my grade school years was my first actual experience. It was ADnD, and i recall we were all warriors or mages since we all failed at rolling for stats. Before that me and my uncle would play a modified version of the board game “HERO QUEST”. But it was really DnD that started it up, didn’t help that i liked reading dragonlance

I noticed that a lot of Filipinos got their first fantasy kick with Dragonlance. (Something that might actually be worth checking out as a blog topic come to think of it.)  Was GMing something that you’d ever thought you’d end up doing? Or was it something that just ended up happening?

Dragonlance was somewhat easier to read and readily available and it had DRAGONS. kind of imporant when you want to play Dungeons and DRAGONS. well that was my impression anyway. Never thought i’d ever GM, not until High school – when we decided to block of some days during summer to play DnD. And Running a mix of 3e oriental adventures and FR was my first official bad idea as GM

First official *bad* idea? Then again, just thinking about that makes my head hurt. Crane Clan Elves in Waterdeep?

CLANS…pfft all that mattered were numbers then. and we used a customized setting that wasn’t strictly Rokugan. Oh Sohei are Divine Casters that get Mettle at level 9, and the shiba protector gets to add wisdom to attack and damage rolls. Sadly Setting was supposed to be Castlevania/Ravenloft ish. So there were lots of puzzles and bizzare ideas, but at the same time, the only thing that mattered was how hard the battles were and how much XP came out of it.

So it was a battle to solve puzzles, kill stuff efficiently, and see how we could abuse the system.

Then the erratas came and we did it all over again.

That said, what would you say are your influences with regards to planning a campaign?

Are you talking about then or now?

Well let’s go with now

Now, i try to focus more on PC interactions, rather than number crunching the baddies. W/C sometimes backfires since all my mechamunching is funneled on a small number of opponents (ones w/c i stat carefully) that tend to exploit the ruleset. While i don’t bend most rulesets, i tend to make sure the important Villains and NPCs are exactly how i envisioned them, both in a thematic and a mechanical manner. Trash is represented by a random number of dice or numbers below pc values.

When it comes to how i intend to set the pace, i usually try to make that depend on the kind of game i’m running, but usually marathon Anime w/c have similar themes… or elements rip out from.

Examples would be: Hunter: Black Lagoon, Monster, Wagaya Oinari Sama ; L5: Gintama, Sword of the Stranger, Kenshin OVAs…

Then i adjust it based of the player concepts.

Aside from RPGs, what other interests do you actively pursue? I’m of the belief that a person’s interests tend to influence each other so I want to figure out what other things you’re into.

Anime, Manga, Games… stuff like that. Boardgames sometimes. Drawing or attempts at it

Okay here’s a question that’s unrelated from the previous one… what was your biggest Douchebag GM Moment?

Well i see people adept at mechanics as a challenge, so i get this urge to make plots around them. Also when an NPC has a “gm fiat” ability, obviously it’ll succeed right~

haven’t killed any PCs in a while, much less foiled their plans.


I think it was the time when i sent Panam and nicco against a hekatonkire… well panam since he was playing an abyssal. nicco stopped me though since apparently I was “radiating bloodlust”.

“Radiating bloodlust” is that an actual quote from him?


I should ask him about that sometime.  Since you’ve been around the block enough to have GMed more than a few campaigns using various systems, which three games would you recommend to a new GM looking to get into the hobby?

That depends on his bacground. If he likes MMOs or fantasy; FC or DnD~ pathfinder is an option too. depending on how much he likes numbers or likes customizability. I could reccomend VAMP, Werewolf… if thats their thing. I would not reccomend mage, Hero and gurps for starters. Oh and Shameless plug for you~ i will reccomend badass

Thanks for the totally shameless and outright obvious plug.  Okay, what was your worst campaign?

Mekton Zeta. this was after watching Mazingkaiser, Shin getter, and gundam seed. also Plus rules were allowed. The plot was something mixed out of Geed, but the charaters looked like they came from random Super robot shows. with the exeption of the pc of the UC fan. the game collapsed on itself after the rookies started to attack rocks to gain XP

Wait, what?! How did rocks give exp?

Mekton xp gain is somewhat similar to dungeon seige, you gain XP everytime you use said skill.

I can see where that rules exploit went.  So here we go with an old chestnut: If you had your way, which three campaigns would you run?

Exalted Dreams of the First Age, continuing up until second age~Starting during the gods rebellion, playing through the usurpation. if they’re able to survive, playing through their reincanations in the age of sorrows. the sole requirement would be that they need to be a close knit circle. a Story about bonds.

Ive always wanted to run something Suikoden/FFT/ Tactics orge like. I’ll probably use FC for that.

L5R Pre – Coup to Post Day of thunder where players can alter the timeline (in progress)

One last question: Player Pet Peeves. Let it all out, no need to name names. What are the three worst things that players do that drive you up the wall

Hrmm, that’s kind of circumstancial based of the game i’m running but i hate it when a player does absolutleey nootihng, even though all the hooks should be in line with his concept.

Assumptions are ok but overgeneralizations are sometimes annoying.

okay, so basically non-responsive or inactive players?

Yeah.  Non responsive moreso inactive players, not so much.  Inactive players don’t seem to expect much from you as GM, non-responsives do. but you have no idea how to get them interested

Okay, any other pet peeves?

Can’t think of anything else right now, but again, it depends on the game i’m running. but i guess anyone who ruins the vision and thematic of the game will count. The only major exeption being socially blind characters~ and sometimes players

Cool. I think this about wraps it up for this interview. Thanks again for taking the time to answer these questions.


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