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The Fallen
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Spotlight On Danalae

GM Danalae - Senior GameMaster (World Building)

"...I love making shops and the NPCs who walk around to talk with you, ordinary people who live in the same world with the players, but who have stories of their own if you take the time to listen. "

-- GM Danalae

Spotlight On Staff Home

Co-Worker's Not-So-Candid Quotes

"From day one, this woman has amazed me. There are so many sides to her, she always seems to have the correct answer for any question. And if it isn't correct, it is usually very humorous. Not many can take a song and alter the words to fit Elanthia that will have to rolling with laughter. Her eloquent taste in fashion proves the coordinating aspects of puce, chartreuse and various sentient body parts. I wanna be just like her when I grow up."

"I think Danalae's favorite phrase is, 'Wouldn't it be neat if...' There's no limit to her creativity, or to her coding skills. She also has a wickedly sharp sense of humour; I've spat many a mouthful of soda all over my monitor, thanks to her!"

"This woman has a truly inventive sense of humor and expresses it in the most morbid or gross way possible."

"Always there to lend a helping hand, GM Danalae embodies what a leader and a Senior GameMaster should be. Her writing and coding has always been outstanding and I hope she knows how much she is appreciated."

I've been on staff here since October of '96, so going on six years next fall. In that time I've done pretty much everything -- weddings (until I begged to be freed -- I'm a not-so-closet romantic, and weddings as a business just got to me after a while), area design (I'm responsible for the vineyards near the Crossing, the brewery near there, the favor area in Shard, the Abbey of Tamsine's Rest near Leth Deriel, the Gwenalion Fens and the recently discovered area beyond the Gate of Souls near Dirge) and critter design (yes, you can blame me for >Dragon Priests, Fendryads, Frostweavers, Atik'et, firecats and Elsralael). I've done a lot of scripting as well as area design, and I suppose I'm best known on staff as the merchant queen, since I do the majority of catalog type shops. These days I share responsibility for the world design team with SGM Jovah, an absolutely wonderful lady. And of course, when I just can't resist any longer, I pester the bard team, since the bards have always been near and dear to my heart as a player.

Where were you born?

Vallejo California

Where do you currently live?

About 20 miles south of Pittsburgh, PA.

Do you have any pets/kids/both?

One child, one husband, one mother in law, two cats, one with and one without a tail, one husky who's convinced she's a cat (and who thinks it's supremely unfair that she can't sit on my shoulder while I type when the other two can).

What is your current occupation?

Mom, RPG fanatic, cat perch, studious ignorer of dust.

What did you want to be while you were growing up?

Oh, dear. Which week of growing up? It varied -- at one point I wanted to be a nurse, at another I wanted to be an astronaut, at another I wanted to go to West Point (this was when women were first being admitted to the Long Grey Line), not as a statement of woman's liberation, but because I believe in the concepts of honor and integrity that West Point represented to me. Eventually I decided to become an engineer and graduated with a degree in electrical engineering.

Favorite TV shows?

Gilmore girls. I love that show -- it's one of the few shows on TV that I'll make an effort to watch each week.

Favorite actors/actresses?

Harrison Ford (Mmmm), Pierce Brosnan (that voice!) and Jeff Goldblum (eyes. I love eyes). I sound so very shallow, don't I?

Favorite musicians/bands?

Christina Lavin, a folk singer. Who could resist a song called "It's A Good Thing He Can't Read My Mind"?

Favorite books/authors?

Do you have an hour or five? Ummm... Lois McMaster Bujold, Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series (isn't it done YET?!), Mercedes Lackey (Diana Tregarde and Valdemar series), Patricia Wrede (must not kill the Charming Child for losing my copy of Sorcery and Cecelia...that would be A Bad Thing), Marrion Zimmer Bradley, Elizabeth Peters, Tony Hillerman, Terry Prachett, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, Dorothy Sayers, Dorothy Parker, James H. Schmidt, David Weber, D. R. Meredith, Tamora Pierce, J. K. Rowling...

Where did you go to college and what did you study?

Boston University's College of Engineering, majoring in electrical / computer engineering.

Favorite/least favorite job you've ever had?

Favorite: GMing. I love to make things people can touch and manipulate. I love making shops and the NPCs who walk around to talk with you, ordinary people who live in the same world with the players, but who have stories of their own if you take the time to listen.

Least favorite: summer work-study job as receptionist for the Dean's office in college. You wouldn't think an intelligent woman could have such a miserable time with a few buttons on a telephone.

Favorite hobbies?

Reading, quilting, finding a new personality test website, drawing... I'm not much on actually finishing my projects, mostly I like designing them and getting the colors right.

Favorite foods?

Oh dear. I'm a dreadful junk food junkie, I'm afraid. I'll only buy snack foods that I don't really like, because otherwise I just absentmindedly eat the entire bag without noticing while I'm focusing on something else. Favorite foods which are actually good for me, grilled chicken breasts marinated in a mix of lemon, lime and orange juice with some chile peppers.

Favorite board games or computer games?

Risk. Scrabble, Scattergories, Taboo... For years, I hosted in the Game Parlor on AOL, and used to love to run word games of all kinds.

Favorite sports/sports teams?

Uhh, let's see, the Steelers are going for the Stanley Cup, right?

What would you do with a million dollars?

Buy a house of my own. If they're very nice to me, I might let my family live in it. But I'd definitely have a room of my own, where I could be as messy as I like, keeping fabric in tumbled piles scattered over several counters, books on bookcases surrounding a tatty old recliner, and a latch on the door for when I am just in an anti-social mood.

What three people past or present would you invite to dinner?

I'd have to have a whole three people? I can feel my anxiety levels rising already. Probably Dorothy Parker, Dr. Barbara Mertz and Tamora Pierce.

What is your favorite quote?

"It is intuitively obvious that..." which, as every TA in a technical course knows means, "I didn't understand the proof, but I'm pretty sure the answer is..."

Name something you'd like to do before you die.

Learn how to write as well as some of the other folks on staff. I'm constantly awed by the way they can write a room almost effortly, when I rewrite every word about five times over before I am grudgingly satisfied with the work. (of course, I'm still the queen of "things you can play with", so I should be content with that, right? :)

What's your favorite acronym?


Well, it's more a mnemonic than an acronym, but my favorite is one my daughter just reminded me of (she's starting a section on astronomy in science class): "Oh Brutal and Fearsome Gorilla, Kill My Roommate Next Saturday" (it's a mnemonic to remember the classifications of star types, much more emotionally satisfying than the traditional "Oh be a fine girl, kiss me right now, smack").

Who is your hero or heroine?

My nephew, who was hospitalized for Guillaume-Barre syndrome the summer before last. At the end of the school year, he was complaining of aches and pains. During the summer, his condition became worse, til he was paralyzed. After he got better, he had to learn to walk all over again. He whined and he griped but I don't know if I would have the courage to go through what he did. Thank heavens, he's fine now, and recently was even one of the support runners when the Olympic torch came through Pittsburgh.

If you could have any musical group or artist, past or present, play at your birthday party, who would it be?

I'm actually not that much into music. Smashmouth, I guess, since it would certainly thrill my daughter to bits. Perhaps even enough to make up for being forced to show up for mom's birthday party. :)

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

Definitely being able to read people's minds... Empathy, I guess. Of course, being able to fly would be pretty cool, too.

And the Zobmondo question:

Would you rather have to turn around three times before you sit down anywhere...


do a little dance before passing through any doorway?

You mean you don't have to do either of those? Well, heck, nobody tells me nothing.

Having just been invaded by 9 dogs in addition to the three that live with us, I'd have to pick dancing. There's just so much more joy of movement in dancing, as opposed to the rote turning around that dogs do before lying down.

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