I have five sets of dice for gaming, and four of them are currently crammed into a small bag, which is now bursting at the seams. Thankfully, someone else out there has solved the unwieldy dice-bag problem – Lyndsay Peters, Owner of Dragon Chow Dice Bags. Lyndsay was kind enough to spend some time with me for an interview. In the interview, she discusses how she started her business, the origins of her mascot, Chompy, gamer superstitions and why she never stopped playing Dungeons & Dragons 3.5.
Can you please introduce yourself, and discuss how and when you were introduced to gaming?
Well, I’m Lyndsay. I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with my husband and my pet snake Orwell. On Twitter, I’m @GeekyLyndsay and people generally know me because I run Dragon Chow Dice Bags.
Lyndsay Peters & Chompy
I was introduced to gaming around 9 years ago in high school. I joined a circle of nerdy friends and they taught me how to play D&D. It was around the time 3e turned to 3.5e, because I remember that I was the first one to get the 3.5 books. I played a Cleric.
We played d&d off and on, and in the post couple of years I’ve discovered board games. I’m really loving board games now, too. I like how easy it is to introduce my family members to games like Settlers. Next up, I’ll be teaching them Carcassonne.
I’m in a regular d&d 3.5 game on friday nights. I’m a grognard, it’s true.
It is my pleasure to bring you the second installment of Ego Check. Over the last few weeks, I was able to interview Carl Bussler, host and producer of the Flagons & Dragons podcast series. He was kind enough to answer a wide variety of questions about his gaming background and creative process. Below, we discuss some of the challenges inherent to designing and creating adventures for our campaign. Carl describes his enjoyment of Gamma World and how it allows him to design an “anything-goes” setting for his players. Finally, we discuss the genesis of the Flagons & Dragons podcast in addition to unique aspects of connecting with other gamers through podcasts.
Thank you for agreeing to speak with me about your gaming influences and motivations. Can you please start off by introducing yourself, and talk a bit how and when you stepped into the world of roleplaying games?
My pleasure, I’m one of the hosts and the producer of Flagons and Dragons, a podcast in which we talk about tabletop games… and beer!
My introduction to roleplaying games was gradual, and until 7th grade, the Choose Your Own Adventure gamebooks and the Lone Wolf gamebooks were the closest thing I’d seen to a roleplaying game. I grew-up in rural Pennsylvania and we didn’t have much in the way of comic shops or malls, but we did have a library and a book store. I loved the fantasy genre, and I’d read Tolkien, Fritz Leiber, Robert E. Howard, and any other author who could offer me a temporary escape from reality.
It was around the time I’d started reading the Dragonlance Chronicles that I discovered Dragon magazine and learned about Dungeons & Dragons. The idea of a roleplaying game was an easy sell, but I couldn’t actually find it, let alone find anybody willing to play it. After a year or so, fate stepped in. A friend’s older brother was going off to college and wanted to unload his old 1st edition D&D books. I happily paid the $20 for all three books, which I still have to this day.
I didn’t actually get to play much until college, but I made up for lost time during those wonderful 4 years.
Excellent, those Choose Your Own Adventure books were one of my first exposures to the fantasy genre as well. I loved those books, but I always made the wrong decision and ended up eaten by monsters! It sounds like you had quite a few years between first getting your hands on the D&D books and actually getting to play regularly. How did you cultivate your interest in roleplaying games in the meantime?
On the few occasions in high school when I was able to pull a group together, I was the Dungeon Master. But between those rare and wonderful moments, I found myself writing adventures, developing NPC’s, drawing maps of dungeons and continents, and even sketching magic items.
I think in the beginning it was denial, or perhaps hope that I’d find some willing players. But in the end it didn’t matter, since I was having fun. I found that creating the places, the people, and the stories that tied them together, was just as enjoyable as experiencing those worlds as a player.
And, rather than exploring Middle Earth or Hyperborea, I was exploring places that were the product of my own imagination. This was, and still is, incredibly rewarding for me. I relish being the creative force behind a memorable game.