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E-Samurai Interview: Spyn
[11/18/2002] [The Interviewer]

State your full Amtgard name for the record.

Spyn Thrift N'than.

Got any titles?

Um. Lord, Defender, Warlord, Knight of the Sword and Flame and Master Rose.

How did you come up with your name?

It's from Dante's Inferno. The 4th level of Hell, I think, is reserved for spendthrifts and hoarders. My Co-Captain Arg thought of it for me. The last name, I stole from a friend's D&D character. After awhile, people said it wrong and couldn't spell it, so I changed it to two words and changed the spelling.

Your original Amtgard name was 'Spendthrift'?

Well, yeah, after a few flurby names that shall not be mentioned, that's what we came up with.

Okay... moving on, what would you say is Amtgard's single greatest purpose?

Hmm, it has a purpose?

To clarify -- why do we play?

Should be something about a dream and vision of something... but mostly to bring people together in a fantasy world of make-believe and roleplay, and to give us something to do other than tabletop games. I never really had a reason, I just play because I like to.

What's your favored class, and why?

Wizard. Nothing says loving like the power of a wizard. I usually play wizard because when I play a fighting class I unbalance most games, so it gives me a class to play without being overpowered. And every one else has fun, too.

What's your favorite weapon combination?

Dual short swords. It's a very effective style. Combined with learning to make my left hand the killing hand and good stabbing skills, most shieldmen underrate it and die quickly. It's just about making every move and block count and being able to strike and block with both hands at the same time.

You realize it's the official position of e-Samurai that sword and shield rules?

Haha. You have yet to come to the realization that your kung fu sucks, then. I will OWN JU. Serious, though, most people that think that way have been enlightened. A shield has no push range, also known as the place that might be dangerous to stand on that side of your body. People can close and grind without fear of the shield ever harming them. With any second weapon, people must at least contemplate it before charging or closing on you. Shield, in my opinion, is just too constricting, and if people wanted to be really good they would use a second weapon.

At this point, I normally ask people what they think about the belts they have, but we'll give you special questions. What have you done to deserve a sword belt?

Deserve is such a strong word. To imply that defeats the point of knighthood. I guess you would have to ask the circle that knighted me... I won a lot of tourneys, killed a lot of people in a row, was champion five or six times, weaponmaster a few more than that. But I never deserved anything. I had a goal to be a great swordfighter and along that path I became I knight of the sword.

What about the flame belt? What happened along the way to that?

You know, helping people out, showing and teaching things to newbies, always pitching in, helping when things needed doing... you know, the whole 'if I don't do it, no one will' attitude that's sometimes prevalent in older Amtgarders.

In fairness, here's the real question: what's your opinion of those two belts?

Flame is probably the easiest belt to obtain and probably the most common. Sword is the hardest to get, in my opinion, and the only one you prove day in and day out. You don't sew worse or help less or lead less as you age, but you do fight worse and add injuries. On top of those, being driven to excel on the field, you constantly prove what it means to be a sword knight until you are beaten by the up-and-comers and are too old to maintain a competitive edge anymore. That's what a lot of people view sword knights as, the burnout or angry players, because it's what drives them to get better. But that's just my view on it.

Do you think there are too many knights in Amtgard?

Yes and no. Always going to be new blood and they will get recognized for what they did, just like the generation before them. I think knighthood is too easy to obtain and that, in general, it is overrated.

What would you do to make knighthood harder to attain?

That's really up to the king and how he awards people. That's really where the flaw is... newer players getting the seat and taking less to qual people. They expect less and therefore the trend continues itself.

Zulu spears. Good, bad?

Good when made correctly, but like many things in Amtgard, the wielder can make the safest weapon unsafe, or poor understanding of construction makes them worse. No worse than pole arms and far safer. Just another step in the Amtgard arms race.

6.1. Good, bad?

Horrid. It's probably the worst piece of junk I have seen lately. Give me a break.... it's about half finished, and the classes are not even close in power rating anymore. Jesus, anti-paladin has teeth, man, but the weak class of paladin just got worse. The magic rules were okay, but the Atomic Clock/Shot in Motion cross-breed bastard was the worst of all. They could have picked one and I would have been happy, but no. Most people will probably ignore it anyways.

IKBOD. Good, bad?

Good if it had power and the teeth to do anything. People only have as much power as you allow them to have. They would be just as powerless as the BLBOD... like they can affect the way I hit people with a foam stick.

And for our VSR readers, an invasion of Iraq. Good, bad?

Guess I am behind the times on that one, but it just sounds bad.

What do you think of the guy in the Emerald Hills who is allegedly pretending to be a serpent knight?

Heh, I met him at Banner Wars. It's not the first time it's happened and probably won't be the last. Have 'em run stuff and overload them with things to do for your kingdom. They will quit. It didn't bother me that he was claiming to be a knight. He was just too stupid to understand what he was insulting... but he got the old-fashioned beatdown, I noticed, from a lot of EH'ers as well. A lot of people go that route when people claim to be knights.

What's your single fondest Amtgard memory?

Heh, there are so many. See, there was this flurb and he had a eyebrow ring... nah, just kidding. Let me think. Probably knighting my best friend Arg for sword, followed closely by knighting Tar'get for sword.

You got to knight Arg and Tar'get?

Yeah, I believe that Vaargard was Guildmaster of Knights and let me drop the sword on Arg six months after I got knighted, and Morgan Ironwolf (Rogers Raiders) was Guildmaster of Knights and let me drop the sword on Tar'get. These were about four or five years ago for Arg and maybe three for Tar'get.

What's your worst Amtgard injury?

That one is easy. Myself and Tar'get were fighting Michael Hammer of God and his friend Fnord. I was using polearm and Tar'get had dual short swords... not our best styles. Michael and Fnord were using the rail to shield-rush us, so we switched weapons; dual short, my favorite and short pole, his favorite. They didn't do so well after that, but anyways... when fighting with Tar'get as your wingman, and he has pole, when you die get low and cover yourself. I thought he had killed everyone so, as I looked up from from crouched stance, some newbie rushed him and he spun low to kill the newbie and hit me with core in the nose right beside his hand. Broke my septum. Wasn't so bad at that moment... I got home on Sunday, and Sunday night I got a nasal infection from it and ran 105 degrees temperature for about three to four days. Lost thirty pounds and lost the ability to smell most anything or taste very much. Everything is hot, cold or sweet or sour. Anything else is beyond me now.

That's the most awful thing I've ever heard.

I can't breathe from my nose and take Ephidren to breathe now. It runs 24/7 when I take it and is stopped up the rest of the time.

Ok, you're pulling my leg.

Nope, honest truth. Broke my septum bad and the infection tried to kill me.

(We discussed the famous prison riot, but Sir Spyn requested that it not be published, so I removed it from the interview and asked if he would say anything that I could publish.)

Heh, nothing says loving like two riot batons, OC gas and industrial zip-ties in a riot.

What's up with those Rogues always pissing people off and wearing white belts?

Heh, it's cream, not white. :) Actually, we have been wearing maroon and white belts for years in Texas. Guess people just now noticed. I never had a problem with the 50 / 50 colored belts.

What's with your bad reputation?

Angry, younger me with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove while trying to put his kingdom on the map. A lot of it has to do with people not playing atomic clock, but I was a dick in my younger years. I have mellowed out a lot. Aggression is a good replacement for a lot of things when you are lacking in areas.

I used to revel in my bad reputation. Wanted people to come get some... now I just kill all comers and dare them to beat me. I am still arrogant, just not a dick anymore.

The Wetlands is on the map now, but for other reasons. You might be its next king. Got any big plans?

Yeah, I plan on traveling and teaching technology, mostly. I wrote a bunch of 'how-to' pamplets about making just about any weapon, arrows, and various forms of brig. I plan on visiting all the parks and hosting a class to inform the populace about safety and ways to make and buy better gear. To me, a safer Amtgard is a happier Amtgard.

Who do you most admire in Amtgard and why?

Admire, hmmm... such a word does not exist in my vocabulary. It's more along the lines of respect. More likely, it's a group of fighters that aspire to be the best in Amtgard. The person changes from year to year. I respect the drive and persuance of excellence in the fighting arts.

Who is it this year?

Corbin. Very active in the south Wetlands, teaches and fights two or three times a week and still has what it takes to be a great Amtgard sword knight... by far, the best one-versus-a-large-group fighter I have seen.

What is the greatest misunderstanding people have about the Wetlands?

I really don't know, I don't understand them either, but most are much nicer than I am, and you hardly ever see any Zulu spears on the field.

If you could visit three (and only three) kingdoms, which three would you pick? Why?

Goldenvale, to mock their sword knights. The northwest kingdoms... VSR, I think, to mock their sword knights. And the Iron Mountains to get some real fighting in after all that mocking... it's always good to fight those guys. I could have done more mocking but you only said three kingdoms and Neverwinter didn't have any sword knights.

What do you see in your Amtgard future?

Old age. And, one day, a squire I train to be a sword knight. Rogues ruling the world, and some serious smack talking to any that want some. :)

Do you have anything you'd like to say to the readers of e-Samurai?

Yeah, don't do drugs. And watch your back, because we will backstab you en masse while weilding spears.

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