As you may, or may not know, I work for a startup company that makes mobile apps. I was hired nearly two years ago as the executive assistant to the two founders, who at the time were both under 25 years old. I’m obviously slightly outside of what you’d expect the average demographic there to be, but the spirit of trust and inclusion from day one has been been absolutely amazing to me. This speaks volumes not only about the executive team, but about my ability to stay relevant in the changing landscape of the work world. Thanks to my youthful attitude, and that trust and inclusion, I’ve since become the office manager, human resources department, chief cook and bottle washer, and Wendy to thirty odd lost boys and a few girls.
Each day at work is exhilarating, and different, and exhausting. Every one of our employees are brilliant at what they do, and they work very hard at it. So, it’s important that they get plenty of time to relax those giant nerdly brains of theirs. Our culture provides the time and ability for them to do that, with nerd friendly activities like foosball and ping pong, and a big screen with hook ups for playing various video games. And perhaps the nerdliest of all, a group that plays Dungeons & Dragons. And that group includes me. There I am on the left with my back to the camera. The guy standing at the head of the table behind the binder fence is the Dungeon Master. He directs all of the action and characters besides the individual members of our party.
The core of D&D is storytelling, so its very appealing to me as a writer. Since it is a “role playing” game, one of the first things I got to do was to create my alter-ego, the character I play on this particular quest. It was a daunting decision, having to pick from an array of races and classes from Elf Paladin, to Dwarf Warrior to Troll Mercenary. To do that you start with a character sheet and a pencil. Not a pen, a pencil – always a pencil. This is where you keep track of your character’s ever changing strength, constitution, dexterity, intelligence, wisdom, charisma, and other things like gold and spells. With the help of a set of polyhedron dice, this is how we guide our heroes through quests for treasure, battles with deadly foes, daring rescues, exploring different landscapes and worlds.
My character is a 500 year old female Wood-Elf Druid named Merrielle. A feisty, brooding, but calm and level-headed leader. Turns out, wood-elves and druids have quite a bit of magical power after a couple of level ups, so for a newbie to the game, I’m a pretty valuable member of my party!
We’re supposed to have a visual representation of our character, but so far I’ve only been able to find pictures of silicone pumped glamazons. Interesting to and preferred I guess by the typical male D & D player, but I have a more naturalistic, hippie type in mind. I guess I’ll have to keep looking!
Meanwhile, we play every two weeks for two hours at lunch, fighting orcs and giants, gathering owl-bear beaks and hearts, and navigating the common areas of the great cities where we sell our services!