Who We Are

I am your gracious host and owner of PottsLand (what an original name, I wonder where that came from). By day I am a mild mannered IC design engineer (read geek) at night I'm Dad; somewhere in between I'm Web Master, author of HTML.

"Mandate Mania" my first real attempt at a web site turned out to be extremely popular and much more work then I ever expected it would be. Keeping up with all the information and ideas became a job in itself. I'm glad that I was able to hook up with a few great people to help make the work easier and more pleasurable. Mandate Mania has become one of the foremost complete sites for Might and Magic VI on the web.

When I heard about Baldur's Gate I knew that this would be the next generation of web site. Well, the game is upon us and here goes the site; I hope to make it as popular and complete as Mandate Mania.

What can I say about myself? I have been into computers for just about as long as I can remember. I started off using computers back when the Apple II's just came out and my school had one. Many of the other kids (this was seventh grade mind you) were into playing "Artillery" while I was trying to figure out how they wrote it! About a year later when the PC's just arrived on the scene I managed to muster enough money to help buy my first computer; the Compaq luggable with 256k RAM, dual 360k 5.25" floppies and a seven inch green screen! Yes this machine was a powerhouse running at a whopping 4.77MHz, but it did get the job done and did it well. I played Adventure, Zork I, II, III, and just about every other text (and semi graphics) adventure game made at the time. Wizardry was the one game that got me hooked forever, boy that series wasted many a nights. And, of course, as everyone else of that time, the Ultima Series.

About two years later I decided to start a Bulletin Board System (That's BBS for those who don't remember those days) called "The Saxon's Inn" (Email me if you remember it). At that time I purchased my second computer an 8086 running at 4.77MHz and a blazing 7.2 MHz. The Saxon's Inn was a home grown BBS that I obtained from a friend, who wrote it by hand, and then modified it (learning Pascal as I went) to fit my needs. Then in 1987, on one sad day, without warning, after three years of service, I turned off "The Saxon's Inn" with it never to return.

Later I went on to Drexel University (don't go there, it sucked) to get my degree in Electrical Engineering. I graduated and got a job working at Ensoniq Corporation where I was able to travel around the world as a field engineer. Then in 1996 I left Ensoniq and headed for Lucent Technologies where I am currently employed as an IC Design Engineer (can you say K56Flex).

The Gray Ranger, General Information Provider:

My first exposure to early RPG/Adventure games (I never got into pen and paper AD&D, they just didn't have them in the "old days", or if they did, I sure didn't know about them) was with early Unix versions of Adventure, Zork, Rogue, etc. When a computer finally came into our home (at first a Tandy 1000A, 8088, WOW!), my son and I got into Might & Magic 1, Bards Tale, Starflight, all Ultimas after 4 (but not 8!), Wasteland, and Magic Candle 1-2. As we would play, my son would "drive" and I would try to "take notes" (I love to take notes, but could never do it fast enough for him <g>). I also love reading a "good" game manual (whatever happened to them <sigh>) whereas he would rather skip them.

Basically, computer gaming is my way of relaxing after a hard day at work, or on rainy weekends (love that rain...can't cut the grass today dear <g>). Nothing feels better than whacking a few Orcs to vent off the work day's frustrations <g>. I enjoy computer RPG's (J.R.R. Tolkien sparked this interest) and Strategy/Wargame games (and I guess 12 years as an Army officer was responsible for this interest). Turn-based is what I like and I'm not into "shooters". I had been away from CRPG's since Ultima 7 SI as there just weren't any that interested me much. Then last year I got into Fallout and this year MM6 and the interest was renewed. I'm currently into Fallout-2, which I am enjoying a lot, but I like the fantasy genre much better.

I can't say that I'll 'specialize' in anything in particular for the Gate House, but mostly I like to gather information, sift through it to provide the most salient points, and consolidate this information into the smallest useful form. I also like to fill-in missing pieces, i.e., suggest/provide additions to information already presented. I guess this is how I got started with David, by sending little bits and pieces of additional information that he could use in his great MM6 site, things I had learned from playing that had not already been posted. So, maybe I'll just be the "General Information Provider".

Gary, The Gray Ranger

"I have been an RPG fan since its inception and grew up during the "RPGs are the Great Satan" period in the 80's. When CRPGs started coming out, I soon discarded pen and paper, mainly because I grew up in an ultra conservative rural south Georgian town where the Great Satan discouraged many kids from learning how to play. (I also lost my 20 sided dice with alarming regularity).

Since then, I have seen RPGs go from Ultima 1 and the Bard's Tale to Ultima Online and Fallout. All I can say is, I am impressed and hope beyond hope that CRPGs will continue to move onward and upward until I have finally and irrevocably lost all sense of reality.

I first started working with David Potts on Might and Magic 6 because I wanted to write a quest list without having to manage a website. He agreed to post my list and so here I am. I bring some experience into the fray, having participated in the compilation of a couple Prima publishing hint books.

Many players play RPGs for many reasons, and as should be clear from my vita below, I play them in part for fun, but also because I love dissecting them and discovering their secrets. In real life, I am a psychology student with my specialty in probabilistic reasoning, so RPGs provide more than ample probabilistic rules and egghead intrigue to pluck and titillate my essentially geeky love for numbers.

So, in real life, I am a psychology student working as lab manager in a cognitive science lab and as a counselor for mentally retarded adults. In RPG life, I generally play either thieves or archers. To that end, if you could tell me which of these personae are real, email me post haste. I need to go to the store and can't decide if I should bring a credit card or a bag of gps.

My computer gaming history stretches back to the earliest days of Pong. I would, for hours on end, excitedly turn those stupid little knobs and watch the straight line that represented my ping pong player jump up and down the screen in all it’s 1-bit glory. From there I graduated to Intellivision (“Wow, this blows Atari away. Graphics will NEVER get any better than this…”), and then onto my beloved Commodore 64. While it had about as much power as a watch battery, the C64 was ahead of its time in the early 80’s, and thinking of the games I played on it still makes me wax nostalgic.

My first CRPG experience was a game called Dunzhin (a dungeon crawl, predictably) on the C64. The game came on a single cassette tape, and took about 25 minutes to load. It had absolutely no plot whatsoever, and featured graphics the likes of which have never been seen this side of a pre-school art class. Still, primitive as it was, I played it through a hundred times. I simply loved the feeling of advancement and accomplishment. Shortly thereafter, I got involved in the Wizardry and Ultima series on a friend’s Apple II, and have been a CRPG junkie ever since.

I’ve played all of the good ones, and quite a few of the lame ones, too. Over the years my taste in computer games has become more refined, and my attention span for them has narrowed. I simply no longer have the time to tolerate games that are less than spectacular. But the one genre that can still keep me glued to the screen is the CRPG. I can dive into a good game and lose myself for hours. As a graphic designer myself, I never fail to be amazed by some of the incredible work being put out in the CRPG field, particularly in the past two years. The complexity of the 3d modeling & rendering performed for a game like Baldur’s Gate simply boggles the mind. If you’re not sure what I mean, take a look at LightWave or 3DStudio Max some time.

From humble beginnings, I now live a life where I spend, on average, 10 hours per day on a pc. I work for a leading medical supply wholesaler, doing graphic design, web page design, advertising and marketing. I even do a little programming with a proprietary authoring language. After (regrettably) taking 5 years off from college, I have recently returned to school seeking my MBA.

Like Gary and Janus, I first worked with Dave on his excellent Might & Magic VI page. I had prepared a few maps for MM6, but had no good place to put them other than binary Usenet groups. Dave offered in comp.sys.ibm.pc.games to put the maps on his site. I happily agreed, and it has been an enjoyable and productive relationship since. I hope you enjoy my maps, and find them helpful when used in conjunction with the other excellent information provided on this site.

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