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.

Great job on that latest mission, adventurers; it’s time to sit back, relax and listen to another tale in the tavern. This week we are chatting with actor and writer extraordinaire Celina Dean. When she isn’t traveling theaters in the United States and Canada, hanging out with her hubby and small twin men, she navigates the depths of hell and frigid tundra at the TTRPG table. Check out everything Celina loves about the community and her favorite moments at the table.

Keep up with Celina Dean on her social media channels! (Twitter/Instagram)

Celina Dean

Celina Dean in Grease.

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

Celina Dean: Ya know, I genuinely often ponder that very question. It’s sorta the opposite of breaking into an empty house: My husband, Josh Dean, starting playing with a group of D&D lifers/improvisers/actors/writers/dear pals, and, though they claim otherwise, I’m convinced they asked me to join just so my charming husband would show up in a more consistent fashion.

JR: Favorite world to adventure in?

CD: I really loved both Avernus and Icewind Dale. Battling not just bad guys but also the elements makes for really fun storytelling.

JR: Favorite one-shot adventure?

CD: I don’t have enough under my belt yet. One where I don’t die immediately?

JR: Backstory or class first?

CD: Always backstory. Storytelling is my way in.

RELATED: Kevin Parr Chats Questline, TTRPGs and Storytelling

JR: Favorite spell and why?

CD: Polymorph. Turn your find into a dinosaur? What’s not to like?

JR: Who has been your favorite character to play?

CD: Adirth Pilaf, a drunken Eladrin Bard with a soup pot for a helmet and a very bad French accent.

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

CD: I feel like I’m still sampling the hors d’oeuvres at a party! So many races and classes to try before I can decide which I like best.

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

CD: Well, personally, I always make a point of…NO I’VE NEVER EVEN THOUGH OF IT BEFORE NOW. Is that embarrassing, or what? But you’ve just given me fun fun things to think about, so thank you for that!

RELATED: What The Legend of Vox Machina Renewal Could Mean for the Future of TTRPG Live Shows

JR: What is your favorite system to play within?

CD: I’m a real 5th Edition-head because I have little to no experience with anything else.

Celina Dean with a lobster in her mouth.

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

CD: My first-ever campaign, Waterdeep: Dragon Heist. I truly had no idea what I was doing, and it turns out that was a real asset to the other members of our crack team of dingdongs, the Lid Lords.

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

CD: Maybe not just one isolated moment, but I vividly remember when we pivoted to playing on Roll 20 at the beginning of the pandemic. It allowed us all to stay together, even though we were apart. Since then, our group has experienced moves, births, life changes, and we still get to meet regularly because of that format.

RELATED: Chera Meredith Chats Inspiration Behind Closer Than You Know and Learned To Design Games

JR: Favorite dice to use?

CD: A lady never tells! (Honestly haven’t actually played with real dice very much. I’d like to play with my sweet gifted set from Matt Young with Matt Young someday soon.)

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

CD: Charm charm charmy charm charm.

JR: Favorite TTRPG monster?

CD: I love to hate those little freakin stalactite monsters, Ropers. Seriously. Eff those guys.

RELATED: Keep up on The Legend of Vox Machina with our recaps!

JR: Good luck charms or rituals before a game?

CD: Bourbon?

JR: Who is sitting at your dream table?

CD: The exact group that I play with: Chris Tallman, Derek Mears, Ryan Raddatz, Matt Young and my husband, Josh Dean. There isn’t a funnier, friendlier, dreamier table in the world. I know because I have little to no experience!

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

CD: More misadventures with my pals. The TTRPG world is large and sometimes intimidating when you haven’t been playing your whole life, but none of that matters when you play with the best and funniest folks who laugh at your bits and show you mostly only kindness when you throw a very rare and hard-earned bola from Chakuna into a dense forest the very first time you have an opportunity to use it.

Tavern Talk Thursday: JOSEPH LIMBAUGH

Catch Me