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Powell’s Q&A: Patton Oswalt

In celebration of Geek Week, Powells.com presents a special Dungeons and Dragons–themed Q&A with Patton Oswalt.

Geek WeekWhat's the most epic character you've ever created?
A half-orc assassin named Ulvaak through which I channeled all of my frustrations about being a fat eighth grader. Apparently I wanted to split everything in half with a sword.

What alignment do you most closely identify with: Lawful, Neutral, or Chaotic?
Lawful, but only because of my OCD. There's no good or evil to it.

Describe your longest campaign.
Oh man. Probably this epic, Béla Tarr–style slog through a continent called Gamotia, where the fabric of reality was ripping open and different demons were vying for dominance of the material plane. You know, everyday stuff like that.

Personal question: Did you let anyone touch your lucky d20?
Not only did no one touch it, but I would use an El Marko to color the 10-and-up numbers black, then I'd scrape away the permanent marker ink but leave the indented numbers still filled in with ink. OCD is a hell of a thing.

Eberron, Vanadorn, or a campaign of your own creation?
I'd want to create it. From the ground up. A too-ambitious part of me would also want to create the gods of this new universe.

Name your most expensive miniature.
Something from Ral Partha, I'm sure. Good Lord, I owned so many. Had a tacklebox full of 'em. Probably one of those big-ass dragons.

Are you familiar with THACO? Can you explain its origins?
Vaguely. It was a little bit after my time, but it was a way to speed up game play, and save everyone time consulting hit dice and armor class charts. Very popular, as far as I understand.

Describe your experience when the first character you'd created died.
It was a thief named Raphael. I remember being weirdly relieved — I'd just learned about the assassin class and I was eager to get into that. Less stealing, more stabbing.

What snacks and drinks are crucial to your gaming?
Red Vines, Snyder's of Hanover hard pretzels, and ginger ale. THE HOLY TRIUMVIRATE.

How has D&D impacted your work today?
I always roll to save against collision before I merge into traffic.

÷ ÷ ÷

Patton Oswalt is an American stand-up comedian, writer, actor, and author. His most recent book is Zombie Spaceship Wasteland.

Books mentioned in this post

  1. Zombie Spaceship Wasteland
    Used Hardcover $8.95

Patton Oswalt is the author of Zombie Spaceship Wasteland

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