Welcome to Tavern Talk Thursday! This is a weekly column where we chat with a member of the TTRPG (tabletop role-playing game) community to learn more about how they found themselves at the table, what they love about tabletop gaming and other fun things. Think of it as a little sneak peeks into the minds of our fellow players and DMs.

The winter winds are blowing in, and we can’t think of a better place to get warm than the fire. And this week, we have the pleasure of spending time with everyone’s favorite dungeon master, B. Dave Walters. The man, the myth, the legend has been spinning stories in the TTRPG sphere for years. Walters loves high-stakes storytelling and gives players a chance to battle it out at max level. Check out what he shared about being a part of the community and what he loves most.

Keep up with B. Dave Walters on his social media! (Twitter/Instagram)

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B. Dave Walters

Gaten Matarazzo and B. Dave Walters standing on the set of Netflix GEEKED WEEK.

Julia Roth: Let’s chat your TTRPG backstory! How did you find yourself at the table?

B. Dave Walters: I started playing when I was 13 years old, back when dinosaurs ruled the Earth! I got started playing Rifts, and a hipster friend of mine said to me, ‘if you’re going to play an RPG, you’ve got to play Dungeons & Dragons.’  So, that’s how I got started playing 2nd edition. Soon after that, Vampire: The Masquerade and the World of Darkness came out and landed squarely on my face, and I haven’t looked back since. 

JR: Favorite world to adventure in?

BDW: The World of Darkness is the easiest for new players to immerse themselves in and has fewer what I call ‘filters’ between them and a genuine emotional response. In D&D, you have to keep track of what Orcs are, what a Paladin is, what Waterdeep is, and why Mind Flayers are bad…in the World of Darkness, it’s this world. The shop on the corner is there. City Hall is there. It just so happens 30% of the people are monsters…and so are you. 

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JR: Favorite one-shot adventure?

BDW: Any of the charity one-shots I’ve done for World Builders. If it’s a written adventure, several of the Journeys through the Radiant Citadel are magnificent. 

JR: Backstory or class first?

BDW: Dealer’s choice. Each informs the other, so I’d say whatever you’re excited about is what you should focus on first and build around it. 

JR: Favorite spell and why?

BDW: Either Eldritch Blast or Green Flame Blade. Will keep you in the fight all day long. 

JR: Who has been your favorite character to play?

BDW: Freely, the Lucky Boi. The character began as a thought experiment to do a 4-class character (Bard/Paladin/Warlock/Sorc) and ended up being not only my strongest character by far but also my first to get into a video game, has appeared in several actual plays, and all sorts of things I never imagined. He really has created his own luck. 

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JR: Do you have a particular race/class you enjoy?

BDW: Not really. I’m an old-school min/maxer, so I tend to pick class first and race second to best facilitate that. Even with recent changes to racial bonuses post-Mordenkainen‘s, some things still fit better flavor-wise. 

JR: Is there something that you build into every character? A fun trait or a special item?

BDW: They’re all STRONG and can usually do at least a little bit of everything.

JR: What is your favorite system to play within?

BDW: The Storyteller System of the World of Darkness

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JR: Tell us about the wildest adventure you have been on?

BDW: Oh man, way too much than I can type. But Freely’s arc from his first guest appearance to battling Asmodeus and ultimately getting married and retiring was truly something special. 

JR: What has been your most impactful moment at a table?

BDW: Probably the Mass Dominate on Jasper and Eva to save them from Strauss in LA by Night

JR: Favorite dice to use?

BDW: Whichever is within reach, but I definitely prefer physical dice to digital. 

B. Dave Walters sitting in a chair.

JR: Would you rather face off against an entire dungeon of undead or charm your way through a royal court?

BDW: …can I charm the undead? But if forced to choose, definitely deploy the silver tongue first and foremost. 

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JR: Favorite TTRPG Monster?

BDW: Umber Hulks! 

JR: Good luck charms or rituals before a game?

BDW: I tend to close my eyes and take a few deep breaths. If it’s in person, I bounce around a bit on my toes; then it’s SHOWTIME. 

JR: Who is sitting at your dream table?

BDW: I’ve already been blessed to play with everyone who’d be at my dream table. So now, whoever wants to be there most would be it. 

JR: What are you most looking forward to within the TTRPG world?

BDW: Whatever comes next! We’re definitely going through a big period of transition, and I’m just looking to surf that wave to whatever end. 

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Julia Roth
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