Coupling: Annah & Reynaldo
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:
Annah: Coming late into gaming I was introduced to it by my husband. A former librarian and current EKG Technician, I have the great honor of being a 2015 ENnies judge. I cosplay under the name Elle est Forte and own a small shop of crafts, accessories and naughty cross stitch under the name GingerGoneGaming.
I'm Reynaldo and I like games. I'm working on one called Break!! (http://breakrpg.blogspot.com) which will hopefully see a release this year.
How long have you been playing games individually?
Annah: Since November 2011. He got me into tabletop RPGs though I've always played board and video games. Upon seeing him playing for first time my response was "so you don't actually summon Satan?"
Reynaldo: I've been playing Tabletop RPGs for 21 years, since I was 9 years old.
How long have you been playing games together?
Reynaldo: Since 2011 if I remember correctly.
What are your favorite systems?
Annah: D&D, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, Break!!
Reynaldo: D&D, Brp (Stormbringer, Call Of Cthulu), and Big Eyes, Small Mouth
Do any of you GM/DM?
Annah: We both do! Though I'm still learning
Reynaldo: I do most of the time. But Annah does so to, here and there.
How is the dynamic GM/DM vs player?
Annah: One is about preparing and the other you can usually just show up and play. If I'm GMing I'm always engaged and doing something. If I'm a player I usually cross stitch or do something to keep busy or I get antsy
Reynaldo: Being a GM is all about the setup. Even when reacting or acting, you are usually working with a mechanism that you put in place. You're creating things so people can toy with them. Playing is often exploratory; you're prodding, interacting and destroying all to further a goal or even just to see what happens.
How do you make it clear that you are not playing favorites when players know or find out you’re a couple?
Annah: When we first started gaming he said in front of everyone "NO FAVORITES" and even when I would ask in private he wouldn't share maps or notes. I haven't asked in years.
Reynaldo: We have to roll saving throws and take damage like everyone else, hell, I died in the very start of a session she ran. The fact that the groups we play in are made up of cool, trusting people helps too.
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?
Annah: It's pretend so it's ok. We all know who sleeps in his bed at night. If there was ever a situation where we'd feel uncomfortable we're secure enough to bring it up and adjust behavior if needed. Though it's my favorite when our characters have a relationship. Doesn't often happen though.
Reynaldo: I honestly can't imagine that bothering me, unless they were upsetting her somehow.
If it were in question, I'd be like "Nah, it's cool."
What games do you enjoy playing together the most?
Annah: D&D, Break!!
Reynaldo: We both like to run games, but it's always nice when we can both be players in the same group too.
How often do you discuss games with each other?
Annah: Every. Fucking. Day.
Reynaldo: I'm awful, and generally don't ever shut up about them.
Are you able to separate personal feelings when gaming?
Annah: Yes unless something really emotional/difficult is going on outside of game. Then I usually don't want to game but snuggle and eat too much ice cream.
Reynaldo: Yeah, I think that's really important when you might be playing dangerous or cutthroat scenarios.
What do you feel like you’ve learned the most about your significant other by role-playing together?
Annah: What stupid voices he's now allowed to use in bed. We call it the "List." Also how much he likes killing PCs.
Reynaldo: She reeeeeeaaaaaaaly hates it when people are intentionally vague. If she were the heroine in most stories, they'd be really short, because she'd shake the plot points out of the first main character she met.
What games do you recommend couples playing if they wanted to start gaming together?
Annah: Maid because it's silly and simple and overall harmless.
Reynaldo: Just go with something you both like, with people you both think are fun and it should probably work out.
Do you have any advice for couples who want to game together?
Annah: Talk about it beforehand and know what you're both comfortable with. Don't assume. If someone get uncomfortable with something talk about it calmly and rationally. Be patient with understanding rules and plot. Have fun and relax. It's a game so don't get intense.
Reynaldo: Be open. Don't pretend to like something for their sake, it's going to be more fun if you both like what you are doing for the long haul.
What has been your most memorable role-play moment so far?
Annah: Too many favorite moments for one overall. I've convinced a giant Thunderbird in one of his games to listen to my finch sized PC despite him being WAY higher level than me. He gets mad every time I crit on charisma and TB does what my PC says.
Reynaldo: As for memorable moments - I was running a game that took place in the very early seventies, and at some point her character had to yell "Get in the car Mr. (Bruce) Lee! The ghost of Jimi Hendrix says it will be OK!" and she shouted it in character, perfectly. Still makes me laugh.