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.

This week we chatted with the incredible, the hilarious, the best barbarian – Kailey Bray! She is a co-founder for Pixel Circus, creator and dungeon master for Damsels, Dice and Everything Nice and has played in many live-action TTRPG games, including The Borros Saga: Banesbreak, Failed Save and much more. Bray has a deep love for the TTRPG community and has been a driving force behind creating safe and inclusive places through her work with Pixel Circus.

RELATED: Check out more Tavern Talk Thursdays!

Kailey Bray

Belle (Kailey Bray) leading the princesses through a Dungeons and Dragons adventure.

Damsels, Dice and Everything Nice

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

Kailey Bray: I was introduced to D&D in high school, I went to a boarding school, and we would hide away in a room in the library and roll dice together. I’m still close with my first DM.

JR: Favorite world to adventure in?

KB: I’m a sucker for anything Feywild/Fey-related.

JR: Favorite one-shot adventure?

KB: I always love to recommend Winghorn Press’s Wild Sheep Chase; it’s such a fun one-shot to run and play and always ends up differently!

JR: Backstory or class first?

KB: Always class. All my DMs have come to expect some version of amnesia or memory loss from my characters; I’m terrible with backstory.

JR: Favorite spell and why?

KB: We’ve invented a Snack Cantrip on Damsels, and it’s one of my favorite things we’ve done. Once a day, each princess can summon any snack she chooses, just because. We have a lot of tea parties.

RELATED: Vince Caso, Kailey Bray and Saige Ryan Chat The Borros Saga: Banesbreak, Diversity in TTRPG and Pixel Circus

JR: Who has been your favorite character to play?

KB: It’s so hard to pick, but Nila from Banesbreak is an evolution of one of the first D&D characters I ever built, so she’s very close to my heart.

Kailey Bray dressed as a pirate.

Photo Credit: Bruce Monach

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

KB: You’d never guess it from my social media handle, but any chance I get to play a barbarian is a good day.

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

KB: I try to always pick a feat when I build D&D characters; I love them and think more people should take advantage of them!

JR: What is your favorite system to play within?

KB: D&D was my first TTRPG, and I think it’ll be the one I turn to the most. I first started creating TTRPG content for D&D, and it’s the system that consistently inspires me to tell stories.

RELATED: Tavern Talk Thursday – Chad Michael Collins

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

KB: It’s hard to pick just one. I’ve been lucky to sit at some sensational tables. Aabria Iyengar ran a very chaotic one-shot for our Banesbreak cast that included us having to play our real-life selves in addition to our characters, and it absolutely broke my brain, and none of us could breathe we were laughing so hard.

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

KB: We recently had to say goodbye to a fellow PC at the Failed Save table, and I play the cleric who failed to revivify them. We got to have a final scene with the two of us, and I still think about it now.

JR: Favorite dice to use?

KB: I’m famously unlucky, so my favorite set is one that I had Wil Wheaton bless many years ago. I’d hoped that two negatives would make a positive…it…kind of works.

RELATED: Zac Lim Eunbank and Aabria Iyengar Chat KOLLOK and Interactive TTRPG Shows!

Kailey Bray dressed as a barbarian running through a field. Photo credit to Bruce Monach.

Photo Credit: Bruce Monach

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

KB: I’m a barbarian through and through; gimme that dungeon.

JR: Favorite TTRPG Monster?

KB: Shadow Dragons or any kind of Hag.

JR: Good luck charms or rituals before a game?

KB: Again, I’m incredibly unlucky; it’s a running joke. Sometimes, if I really need a roll to go well, I’ll stare at the die, point at it very sternly and then beg. But for the most part, I’m resigned to what I call my “story dice.” They very rarely roll well, but they always make things interesting.

RELATED: Bonnie Gordon Speaks the Protostar’s Truth on Star Trek: Prodigy!

JR: Who is sitting at your dream table?

KB: I’m privileged to play with my dream table at least once a week, sometimes twice! The princesses of Damsels and the players on Failed Save and Banesbreak are both some of my closest friends and some of the most creative, brilliant people I know. It still blows my mind that I get to roll dice with them.

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

KB: I’m very excited to play through the adventures in Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel. That book is a revelation, and I cannot begin to describe how incredible it feels to see myself represented in my favorite game in this way.

Board Game Review – CLUE: CRITICAL ROLE

Catch Me