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.

Hello adventurers! This week’s Tavern Talk is quite a special one because it features – you guessed it -me! Over the last year, I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with some incredible people within the TTRPG community, and I felt like now it was my time to share my story. If you don’t know who I am – hi. My name is Julia Roth, and I am a Senior Contributor here at GGA. I dabble in everything from games to writing recaps and reviewing fun stuff. My journey with TTRPGs started young and has become neverending. I currently partake in a campaign on Monday nights with a great group of friends, but you can always find me binging new live plays and podcasts.

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Julia Roth

Headshot of Julia Roth.

Question: Let’s chat your TTRPG back story! How did you find yourself at the table?

Answer: My mom was the first to introduce us to nerd culture at its finest. From fantasy to sci-fi, she hooked us early. And then, over the years, I dabbled in TTRPGs one way or another until I officially joined a local Adventurer’s League and then sold my soul and all my free time reading, creating, and recreating characters and adventures.

Q: Favorite world to adventure in?

A: This is going to be rather dull, but it’s Dungeon and Dragons‘ Forgotten Realms. We spent so much time there during Adventurers League, and some of my favorite moments took place at those tables.

Q: Favorite one-shot adventure?

A: A few years ago, I had the pleasure of playing in a heist one-shot that a friend had put together. He had planned everything right down to the color of the tiles in the mansion’s bathroom. What he didn’t expect was that his normal serious group of adventurers to be absolutely horrible thieves. We were loud and couldn’t lie if we tried. It led to some rather ridiculous situations that I’m still not even sure who we were able to get ourselves out of.

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Q: Backstory or class first?

A: I typically think a bit about the backstory first. Where did they come from? What are their motives? And then I think of what class would fit in. However, there are times that I have decided what class to play first, and I found it was much easier to find things that aligned. Thankfully I like doing things the hard way.

Q: Who has been your favorite character to play?

A: A big favorite of mine is Parilux, the light cleric I used throughout my time in Adventurers League. Most recently, I have been playing Jannifer, my Kobold Druid, who tends to go a bit rabid during fights. Outside of that – she is quite the lady.

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

A: I try to rotate my class and race every time I play. It helps to mix things up, so each time I play, I experience new and exciting things.

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

A: My awkwardness. It’s no lie that I am the embodiment of the “awkward turtle” meme, and I don’t ignore that when it comes to my characters. Embracing that makes playing that much more enjoyable. My characters would never give a passionate speech to rally their cause, and my awkward self will never have to do it at the table. Win-win.

Headshot of Julia Roth with the Hellfire Club Logo.

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Q: What is your favorite system to play within?

A: Most of my games have been within some form of D&D 5E, but over the last few years, I have tested out quite a few different ones. I’ve really enjoyed my time with Call of Cthulhu RPG, Kids on Bikes, Honey Heist, Pathfinder and World of Darkness.

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

A: In our ongoing Monday night campaign, we have done some pretty stupid stuff. But there is an ongoing joke within our friend group (which started with Among Us) that the only thing I want to do is cause the death of our one friend. So when his character died, there was a lot of speculation that I had done something – all jokes, I assure you. But later in the campaign, we were met by a few big baddies who just happened to find his body and bring him back to life. I’m still not entirely sure if our buddy’s terrible rolls were really awful or if he couldn’t bring himself to harm his first character.

Q: Favorite dice to use?

A: Clickity clacky metal dice, of course.

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

A: Remember the awkward turtle comment? It’s a dungeon full of undead. I’d take a dungeon full of anything before trying to charm anyone.

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Q: Favorite TTRPG Monster?

A: Anything Lovecraftian in design or particularly aberrations. Mindflayers, Beholders, and Flumphs, oh my! And I can’t forget to mention the big baddie himself – Cthulhu. — And now that Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants is out, I get to share the true villain of everyone’s story – the Giant Goose. Go read up on these majestic creatures and thank me later.

Q: Good luck charms or rituals before a game?

A: I need to ensure I have a snack and a drink. Then I settle in with some comfy clothes and my notebook and get ready to slay some monsters.

Q: Who is sitting at your dream table?

A: Joseph Quinn would be running the table with Travis Willingham, Steve Blum, Marisha Ray and a plethora of my friends. Oh, and my niece. Because if I don’t include her in my next game, she may never talk to me again.

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

A: For myself? I am looking forward to expanding my genre of TTRPGs to play. I’d love to dive into sci-fi-based ones and explore space. For the community? I’d love to see it continue to expand and welcome our younger generations to the table.

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