Name: Dan Mumford
Character Name: Barney
Heavily involved in Europa’s PvP scene, Dan Mumford wanted to create a character that would keep him entertained when he needed a break from Ultima Online’s constant bloodshed. While he didn’t give much thought to creating a thief who wore bright pink clothes and spoke with a speech impediment, the character soon became more than a force to be reckoned with, she became a staple of the shard’s ongoing Faction wars.
“I wanted a character that was not serious, that I could just roleplay, and not have to worry about dying and getting bothered by constant trash-talking,” Mumford explained. “I also wanted to make Barney as infuriatingly happy as possible to my enemies, despite never-ending rez-killing and insults.
“Barney wore clothes that were all pink, so she looked like a newbie, and kind of innocent. Much like the kids in Oliver Twist … she had the potential to get away with anything if played right.”
One evening, members of DCi created a blockade on one of the game’s highly-trafficked roads to demand tolls from passersby. Rather than bring his powerful combat mage to the party, Mumford decided to see how the persistently-happy Barney might fare in such a situation.
“We set up our blockade not far along the northeast road from Britain, a popular route of commerce,” Mumford said. “This was before Trammel, when actual threats of violence were very real. We had a set of boxes and barrels to bar passage. Several people ran by—or tried—some stopping when hearing Barney shout, ‘Stopps! This is a wobbary! Hands in the air!’”
Even if Mumford’s approach to highway robbery wasn’t always effective, at least it got fellow players to pause and take notice of the pink-clad woman with the speech impediment.
“The great thing about UO is that you can create your own adventures, your own player politics, and economy,” Mumford said. “I loved the fact that I could put a blockade of objects up, force players to go around or stop, and then interact with them. Some people got annoyed, some paid up, but either way, we were having an impact on others’ gaming experiences and things like this made UO a place rich with content. You could wander about and get involved with other players all day long, for better or worse.”
Read more of Dan Mumford’s story in Braving Britannia: Tales of Melancholy, Malice, and Peril in Ultima Online!