Hi! Hello! Hail and well met! And happy International Tabletop Day!
A lot has changed since I last posted to this dusty, neglected old blog. (I don’t recommend scrolling too far back; who knows what cobwebs there are from my college years?)
There are a couple of big ones that I could mention – moving twice, going to Thailand again, writing a few more book drafts – but let’s skip to the chase:
I started playing D&D.
Yeah, wild, I know. I’m that kind of nerd too. Though it sure took me long enough to come around to admitting it.
(Don’t know what D&D is? That’s fair. Dungeons & Dragons. Essentially, friends come together around a table for a few hours to roll some dice and collectively craft a story. And sometimes they may craft that story over the course of months or years. Though D&D is most often is played in a fantasy setting, it’s not the only game of it’s kind. There are tons of tabletop role-playing games that encourage the same kind of creativity, teamwork, and critical thinking in a variety of settings and worlds.)
I’ve always loved the “traditionally nerdy” things. And I’ve always proudly labeled myself a “nerd,” because golly, I love being one. But something about D&D always seemed like it wasn’t my thing.
Which is so silly, as I’ve learned. I’m a writer, actress, artist – it’s exactly my thing.
Still, I genuinely believed it wasn’t. Until I was dragged to a table to play. And to be real real, I hated it the first time I played. Until my friends dragged my back to a table to play again. And I still wasn’t thrilled about it. Until my local game store dragged me in by happy happenstance. And it finally stuck that time.
Okay, but it goes even beyond playing D&D. I started DMing D&D.
If I didn’t expect to play D&D, I definitely didn’t expect to be a dungeon master (DM). Which, again, is silly because it’s right up my alley. I love creating stories, delving into characters, and acting for a multitude of situations. Really, it was a stretch to put me behind the screen to create a story for players, help them delve into their characters, and act as a multitude of non-player characters (NPCs).
I was thrown up behind a dungeon master screen and told to “run combat” a few months into seriously playing. And I fumbled for a second because I hadn’t expected it, and I’d only mentioned it in passing to my DM that maybe I should learn the rules better with the goal to DM.
I had the players face four goblins, a simple, common enemy. And when I sat down to play again after running the battle, I started Googling “how to be a dungeon master for D&D.” I’ve been running weekly one-shots at our local game store almost ever since.
But, nope, we’re not done with how far this goes: I started DMing a D&D actual-play podcast.
“Fate and the Fablemaidens” quickly has become the most important creative thing I’ve ever done in my life. Yes, I’ve written a few (as of yet unpublished) novels. Yes, I’ve been in plays, shows, choirs, musical. None of them can top this project.
Partly because I’m creating something with some of my dearest friends in the world.
Partly because it was me putting myself out there in the public eye for the first time.
Partly because people seem to care about this thing we’re doing.
And mostly because it’s something I love. I love this game I’ve found. I love the characters I and the cast have created. I love the story I have planned for them to face in the episodes ahead.
(Quick side note: we’re on iTunes, Google Play, Podbean, RadioPublic, YouTube, and our website and can be found anywhere on social media using @FateFMCast.)
D&D has become a crucial, integral part of my life and the catalyst for the most amazing creative project of which I’ve ever been blessed to be a part.
So, what’s new with me? D&D.
And thank goodness for that.