Coupling: Amy & Miles

How many times have you watched a movie or/and television show to see that one person in the relationship is viewed as either ‘nerdy’ or ‘geeky’ and the other ‘normal’? Oh, that lonely geek wishing for love and understanding from the so-called normal person.

In these interviews we are more on the side of celebrating the couples who share the beloved hobby of tabletop role-play. Some got the other into the hobby, others met through it, some still play, others don’t, some role-play together and some rarely do so but share a mutual love of games.

Why touch on this? Because sharing something you love with someone you love is how we can share time with one another. It’s a conversation piece, a way of bonding and possibly further understanding one another.

Seth and I often role-play together. There are a lot of ways in which both are different, but this is a hobby that we both share and love for the same or different reasons. I tend to be curious about how other couples view the hobby.

In this series we interviewed different couples and how they manage to separate their love for each other and the love for the game.

Because love is never having to say you’re sorry or explaining to your beloved in front of the party how to be a better GM.

First, our interviewees:

Amy: Longtime artist, currently selling custom etched glass as Monster Dance Designs.  Member of the Austin Craft Riot organization, and sometimes featured on sites like the Drunken Moogle.  I am also big on the historical (fiction and nonfiction) books. I put up with a super nerdy husband.

Miles: I am put up with.  In addition to being big into playing games of all kinds, I've written two gaming books, a smattering of micro-games, and am currently developing/refining/curating a handful of projects, including the rules development for my daughter's board game she came up with.

We are the parents of a precocious 5-year-old daughter who also takes interest in playing games (board, RPG, and video), as well as the creative side (she came up with a board game concept, and we collaborated on her own monster manual).

How long have you been playing games individually?

Amy: For about 10 years, since I met Miles.  I had no significant background in games prior to that, other than Scrabble.

Miles: Growing up, my family was always a board game family, so since I can remember for that. For RPG's, I got into those around 1995.


How long have you been playing games together?

Miles: on and off since we've been married, so almost 10 years.

Amy: Since our third date.


What are your favorite systems?

Miles: I'm really enjoying 5e D&D, Numenera, and always have a soft spot for Deadlands (Classic).

Amy: I prefer board games, but I am enjoying 5th edition D&D.  I liked the Eberron setting from 3e.  I love playing my Shaman in Deadlands.


Do any of you GM/DM?

Miles: I'm usually the DM for any game at home.

Amy: I ran a game of Grimm as a one-shot, but didn't like running it as much as I did preparing for it.


How is the dynamic GM/DM vs player?

Amy: He throws spiders in all his games just to mess with me.

Miles: I try to be impartial when I run from a rules perspective, but I'm also trying to make sure everyone has fun.  I don't think the spider thing is a conscious decision.


How do you make it clear that you are not playing favorites when players know or find out you’re a couple?

Amy: Spiders.

Miles: I don't think that's ever been a problem.  We've mostly played with family or friends who are also couples.


What are your feelings when someone expresses romantic interest in your significant other’s character in game? If this is okay- how do you let your players know this?

Amy:  It's not an issue.

Miles: It's not ever come up that I recall.  Nobody cross-flirts in game any more than we do as friends.


What games do you enjoy playing together the most?

Miles: Anything she'll play with me.

Amy: Anything that I can beat him at (Ticket to Ride, Scrabble).


How often do you discuss games with each other?

Miles: I probably talk at her more often than not, but it's the hobby I obsess on so it's ok if she's not listening all the time.

Amy: Daily, including input for projects that he's working on.


Are you able to separate personal feelings when gaming?

Miles: I think I am.  I try to be pretty impartial.

Amy: Yes.  It's also a safe place for us to let off some aggressive steam at each other.


What do you feel like you’ve learned the most about your significant other by role-playing together?

Amy: What I like with creating characters is how it can be a focus of aspects of a person that you might not normally see, and it's something he does frequently with his RPG characters.

Miles: That she puts up with my shit?  That and she likes when we get games she can beat me at.


What games do you recommend couples playing if they wanted to start gaming together?

Miles: Something cooperative.  Competitive games are great and all, but something where you're working together is a good place to start.  I like Castle Panic for board games, and the new D&D is in the spotlight so you'll find players/games for that easily.

Amy: NOT Munchkin.  Talisman is a good (but long) game.  Any RPG with a group that has other couples.

Do you have any advice for couples who want to game together?What has been your most memorable role-play moment so far?

Miles: Find ways to compliment each other's playing styles if you can.  There was a couple I met at a local convention who ran a duo that played well off each other. Also maybe find some games that give you both an even chance at winning.

Amy: Use it as an opportunity to meet new people, not just sit at home.  Memorable: accidentally telling the burgermeister's "daughter" that she was adopted in Return to Castle Ravenloft adventure.