Brian Montgomery VanHoose
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Brian Montgomery VanHoose
Brian is the rules lawyer and powergamer of the group. A web designer and miniature painter, he lives alone in a house inherited from his parents. He can quote rules and supplements down to page and paragraph/footnote numbers, and bend and abuse this knowledge to his advantage, at times at the expense of other players. He meticulously hands down notes of earlier adventures to his characters' descendants, thereby giving them in-game access to knowledge they otherwise would not possess, and has been known to tattoo his character's spells on fellow party-members backs as a contingency plan, making them into walking grimoires. Brian is another person said to keep a grudge so long he has a regular account at the taxidermists' shop. In addition, when he does get pushed too far (either by a carefully constructed plot falling apart or a bout of in-game backstabbing), he has been known to flip the table in a moment of rage.
His weaknesses include a miserly streak that makes him charge other players 15 cents apiece for character sheets (and non-KoDT affiliated gamers 25 cents), and a love for dogs that can lead to B.A. leading him by the nose towards traps and misfortunes. Brian's trademark characters are wizards, all bearing the name Lotus. His most well-known character is known as Teflon Billy, but this was a nickname given by the group to a character originally named Black Lotus (Black Lotus gives BL which gives Billy, and "Teflon" refers to the uncanny skill of the character at avoiding damage). Formerly a renowned Game-Master, he abandoned the GM's Screen after an unspecified incident at a convention, but has recently taken it up again (after B.A. was burned out by repeated trashings of his best efforts in GMing), to run a complex Cattlepunk campaign. This campaign terminated with the sudden reversal of Brian's meticulous plans, at the hands of an alliance between B.A. and Sara, and an unexpected role-reversal, (from cringing dupe to back-shooting plotter) on the part of Bob's character; Brian threw the reins back to B.A., returning to the role of player, saying that he had only GM'd in order to keep his HMPA-GM credentials fully valid.
Brian has also appeared as a tragic character more than once; in his youth, his parents were killed in a car crash, and his uncle managed his inheritance until he turned eighteen. Living on his own, he concocts elaborate fantasies which he narrates to the other players about being taken globetrotting by his uncle for Christmas, or having a girlfriend (see Alexis Marie below), sometimes even making bogus phone calls or actually booking hotel rooms to strengthen the illusion. In one extreme case, Brian has been portrayed as role-playing a date with a doll, which he referred to as "Sara"; in another, when the Knights had met for pizza and were drawing from a prop Deck of Many Things that Brian made and imagining what would happen if the deck was real and affected their real lives, Brian drew the card "the Void" ("Body functions, but soul is trapped elsewhere"), and responded with "That pretty much describes my life already." It has also been suggested Brian's state may be linked to the fact that Brian previously ran six separate campaigns every week, and was paid for GMing, and further that there may be links between this and "the incident" which caused Brian to give up GMing. Recent issues have not mentioned this aspect of the plot, and it may have been dropped, as a number of reader's letters suggested that readers found these developments too disturbing. On a number of occasions (such as the doll incident mentioned above,) Brian has displayed evidence of a severe crush on Sara; he has not, however, ever openly acknowledged this to her.
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