Brandi (@xb0shi3x) is something of an enigma; Monday to Friday a nerd and then a good ol’ Country Girl on weekends.
So who is Brandi, you might be asking? Well, she’s one of the Gamestable (@Gamerstable) podcast crew (people I’ll be looking to interview later), a podcast dedicated to playing RPG’s and making you shoot your drink out your nose.
The path to dabbling in the dark art of rolling up characters and making skill checks is a slippery slope for some – I started with such gateway drugs as Warhammer – but Brandi knew what she wanted from the word go, although it wasn’t easy in the beginning.
‘I’d always wanted to play tabletop games,’ she says, ‘and I’ve been around people that played them for a 5+ years now. However, no one seemed to take me seriously at the start, they just laughed it off. When I went into a gameshop I felt too uncomfortable to ask, because they usually looked at me like I didn’t belong.
‘Anyway, I started playing the Pathfinder card game with some friends, and I tweeted about it. Shannon saw it, and said she wanted to run her first tabletop game of Pathfinder, and asked if I would be interested. It just took off from there. I made friends with her friends, and they invited me to Sunday gaming, and then Wed gaming as well. It’s been amazing, I have made some wonderful friends through gaming both online and in real life.’
Having listened to Gamestable I can say that the crew are a lot better than some of the groups I’ve played with in the past. Not only is the standard of roleplaying itself consistent (for every thee there is a thou), but the desire to murder their party mates seems to be fairly low on the priority list. Either they’re not doing it right or I’ve just been playing with the wrong crowd.
But anyway, back to Brandi.
‘So far my favourite roleplaying game is DnD 5th edition. I think it’s because I’ve always loved fantasy, long before I ever knew what a tabletop game was. Plus, Kallista (my first DnD character) is the first character I made myself. Up until that point I had always had characters made for me.’
As a DM I heartily endorse people creating their own characters; it lets you get inside their head a bit more and understand their inner workings better. Plus there’s nothing better than watching a player build the perfect minmaxed beast designed to deal with the biggest threat you could throw at them and then watching the tears of rage as they fail a skill check and drown in a well. Ah, the life of a DM.
‘I’m planning on running a game,’ Brandi admits. No doubt she will be nicer to her players than I am to mine (try to get past my traps will ya, filthy elf bastards). ‘Hopefully I’ll start it next year. I want to start with people who have never played a tabletop RPG before. I have a few friends lined up.’ Ah yes, get them whilst they’re still starry eyed and smiling, then kick them until the tears of soiled joy run from their eyes…
No? Just me?
Back to Brandi.
‘The next character I play will be for Gamerstable’s next AP! I am incredibly excited to create her, but I honestly have no idea what to do right now. Eric (our GM) has given us a chance to play whatever our hearts desire but my desires are so all over the place I can’t break her down into a character. I’m sure I’m going to be a headache for him.’
Trust me, until you create a Were-Dire-Wolverine-Half-Giant armed with a giant great sword and very little willpower in a game involving mostly vampires you’re not going to be too much trouble for him. Or the party for that matter.
‘I have really been into The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher recently. Those may have an influence on my next character. I have always been a fan of magic, so I typically play casters. I also love the book Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. Pretty much anything off beat, supernatural, or strange I’ll draw inspiration from. I play my characters to be spectacular, things I can’t achieve in my real life – besides having adorable Tiefling horns.’
Hill Dwarf for life, you semi-daemonic pit monster.
When not burning, beating or otherwise inconveniencing Hobgoblins Brandi enjoys a broad variety of hobbies. ‘I have a lot of different interests,’ she says with a smile, ‘fishing, shooting, boating, cosplay, mutilating pumpkins, piano, singing, video games, hockey… The list goes on forever.
(picture taken from Brandi’s government files, security level Magenta)
‘I like to think I’m very laid back and low maintenance. I would say I’m a nice approachable and I will talk to just about anyone.’ Which is one of the reasons I was so keen to interview Brandi – that and everyone else said no (joking Brandi, you were one of the people who made me want to start interviewing the people of twitter).
Of course, like a well-tended bed of flowers, Brandi is not all roses.
‘I’m a bit on the flighty side, I forget pretty much everything and I can be uncouth when I get too comfortable with people – or on social media.’
To make up for this Brandi supports her local hospital, the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation. ‘They saved my brother when he was very young, and the way they treated him, and the other children, always made me very grateful to have them so close to home.’
Finally, the most important question on the internet right now is, of course; Star Wars?
‘This is where the internet riots against me. I have only seen 4&5 once. I have all 6 now, and I’m going to try to squeeze them in before Friday at 11:30. I’m going to fail. The hype around Star Wars is so huge, it will never fill my expectations.
Spoken like a true rebel scum.