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.

Another week, another trip to the tavern. Pull up a chair because this week, we are chatting with the incredible Kelly Holden Bashar. Chances are you have spotted her in shows like Fargo, Two Broke Girls or even Parks and Recreation. Kelly has also worked as a writer and director, but when she isn’t working in front of or behind the cameras, she is an avid TTRPG player. Check out what she had to share about her favorite moments and what she loves about the TTRPG community.

Keep up with Kelly Holden Bashar on her social media! (Twitter/Instagram)

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Kelly Holden Bashar

Headshot of Kelly Holden Bashar.

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

Kelly Holden Bashar: I first played D&D 1 million years ago when I was doing a Renaissance fair. I had an incredibly strong, but incredibly stupid character named Shanda, who had a hammer, kind of like Thor. I tried to make choices as stupid as she would, and it hit all my actor buttons to turn off my Kelly brain and play this other person.

JR: Favorite world to adventure in?

KHB: Middle Earth, Tolkien all day!

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JR: Favorite one-shot adventure?

KHB: It was a Christmas one where I played Mrs. Claus, but I can’t remember the name of it now.

JR: Backstory or class first?

KHB: Backstory

JR: Favorite spell and why?

KHB: Magic missile. Just because I have used it the most, and it has gotten me out of the most jams.

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JR: Who has been your favorite character to play?

KHB: Letherial. She’s a badass ranger in Middle Earth, and I just love her backstory.

Headshot of Kelly Holden Bashar.

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

KHB: I really don’t, but I always drift towards loading one characteristic…like super strength or intelligence.

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

KHB: Yes! I almost always have some kind of item or person that has a special meaning, and it drives my quest.

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

KHB: Well, I did end up having a rave in a cave with Letherial’s crew, and all of us describing it literally made me laugh cry.

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

KHB: I had a realization at one point that gathering for D&D was literally one of the things that got me through the pandemic. We couldn’t meet in person, so we would play over Zoom and at one point, we were meeting at least twice a month, and it was so vital to my mental health to have that time to escape with my dear friends.

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JR: Favorite dice to use?

KHB: Oversized.

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

KHB: Great question, honestly. I’ve played enough characters that it might be dead even between them of what they would rather do. But me? Personally, I’d rather fight.

JR: Favorite TTRPG monster?

KHB: It’s always exciting when a dragon shows up.

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JR: Good luck charms or rituals before a game?

KHB: Drinking red wine.

JR: Who is sitting at your dream table?

KHB: Honestly, I can’t top the friends that I have already played with. But I think it would be fascinating and insightful to play with world leaders. You learn a lot about people by how they play.

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

KHB: I am going to be involved in a television project involving D&D, but that’s all I can say for now!

Tavern Talk Thursday: STEVE TRINKL

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