- Handle: Shifter
- Real Name: John W. Mangrum
- D.O.B.: September 9, 1971
- Occupation: Ex-Roleplaying Designer, Ship's Chronicler, and general layabout
- Marital Status: Patiently waiting to be Last Man on Earth
- Kids: None that weren't returned safely.
- Handle Origin: "Shifters" were a race of sentient alien worm colonies in a roleplaying game I'd been working on, rather fruitlessly in the end, for several years at the time I first started 'capping back in the Cap This! days. What do sentient alien worm colonies have to do with capping Carleton Sheets? Well, more than you know, but really, it just was a nice easy name to remember.
- Alternate Handle(s): unknown
- You Can Find Me Capping: I'll tell you later
In the ancient era of the late 1990s, when I was most active as a "night shift" Captioneer, I was a long-aspiring roleplaying game designer. Right around the time I was spending my every weekend on Cap This!, I started picking up a few freelance writing opportunities, and in the following years co-wrote a number of supplements for the Ravenloft setting for Dungeons & Dragons. (Not much humor there.) I also authored three books for the Munchkin D20 series of spoof gamebooks: the Munchkin Monster Manual, the Munchkin Monster Manual 2.5, and my favorite, the Star Munchkin RPG. Each of the Munchkin books was written in the exact same rapid-fire, disjointed-stream-of-fevered-consciousness style I relied on as a Captioneer.
For the last few years I've worked as a webmaster, chronicler, and general dogsbody aboard the Half Moon, an operating replica of the ship Henry Hudson sailed in 1609 when he explored what's now the Hudson River. Every once in a blue moon, I let a hint of the ol' Captioneer spirit slip into my online ship's logs.
My lasting legacy as a Captioneer seems to have been to introduce Government Training Films and Plum Fairies into the Capper lexicon. In both cases, in case anyone's wondering, there's no rationale for their origin. Need to caption a bland guy in a shapeless suit standing in front of a blank wall? Blam! Bad government flick. (Plus, now, I have a go-to framework for the next hundred times it comes up.) Need to caption an angry guy clutching his arm? Bingo! Obviously he's been bitten by a plum fairy, whatever the heck that might be. And yes, this is how my mind always works, and yes, it can make day-to-day conversations with me somewhat of a challenge.