Since 2015, the DovahQueen has been taking your questions and giving advice to improve your games. Now the tables are turned in this DovahQueen series; Loren is asking the questions and a panel of guests answers. It’s time to Bend the Knee!
First, let’s meet today’s guests.
Guests – The WafflesMapleSyrup Network
Stefan (aka Waffles)
I spent most of my immediate time after high school in the US Navy as a Nuclear Engineer. Afterward, I took up a Project Manager job and am now completing my Nuclear Engineering Bachelor’s degree. I have been playing TTRPGs since I was about 13 years old, in a home-brewed version of DnD3.5. When my uncles and dad were playing, the DM wanted me to come roll dice, and then explained how I was a dragon. I kept watching and fell in love with the games, eventually GMing my first game when I was 18. Taking a break during the military, I picked back up play afterward online with DnD5e and Pathfinder1e, eventually moving over to Pathfinder2e proper when it came out. That is when we began streaming and podcasting at the beginning of the year 2020.
Besides TTRPGs, I spend a lot of my time with college work completing my Bachelor’s Degree in Nuclear Engineering, my girlfriend, crafting epoxy handmade dice, and playing with our dogs Nyx and Bacchus.
Alek aka Mysticsage “Mystic”
I’ve been in the online tabletop space for a little over a decade when I first joined a roleplaying forum my senior year of high school. When I started as a teenager with D&D 3.5, I was looking to strengthen my foundations as a writer so that I can eventually get a book published. What I found with the various communities I’ve joined has gone beyond any expectations I ever had, including lifelong friends across the world that I would never have had a reason to meet otherwise. The opportunity to join WMS and share our story with an even wider audience just goes above and beyond what I ever thought possible
Cory aka Karik
Hello, my name is Cory, though I go by Karik online and at the table! I have been playing TTRPGs since I was in my early teens (and RPGs since before then) and started with D&D 3rd Edition. I have been playing online for the past 5+ years, mostly as a DM however I joined as a player in a game run by Waffles way back when and that is what eventually found me joining up with the WMS crew! When I am not involved in some TTRPG then I typically am delving into some video game or chatting with friends on Discord!
About The WafflesMapleSyrup Network
The WafflesMapleSyrup Network is a network dedicated to streaming and podcasting Tabletop Roleplaying Games live on Twitch before taking each individual track and producing them into a high-quality podcast version of the show. They also dedicate time to dice, art, maps, and their inclusive community of kind hearts.
Everything about us can be found at www.wafflesmaplesyrup.com.
The backlog and current season of our show can be found at www.wafflesmaplesyrup.com/listen for the podcast version and www.youtube.com/c/WafflesMapleSyrup for the videos including our stream overlay and custom-made maps.
In case you would like to support us and help us keep providing quality content, we offer some amazing incentives over at patreon.com/wafflesmaplesyrup.
“After you wake from a memorable but not particularly pleasant fall, you notice people seem different. Words and numbers floating above their heads in the unmistakable shape of a stat block! Name, ancestry, class, special abilities, attributes, and skill scores are all listed in plain text. You wipe your eyes in disbelief, but the crunch remains. Another person enters your view. Another stat block. A car speeds by; a stat block speeds by. It doesn’t take long for you to get curious and search for a mirror. Sure enough, your own stat block is there too.”
As you read the stat block that accompanies you, this you: the real-life you, most things are as you would expect them to be. Your name is your name. Your attributes and skills all make sense to you. But what is listed under ‘class?’ What class would you be in TTRPG terms and why?
Stefan (aka Waffles)
At first, my brain initially went to classify myself as a Wizard. But then, the smart Wizard brain that it would have been realized, I don’t cast magic in real-life, unfortunately. So, without the ability to cast magic, I thought a little more ‘creatively’. Hence, I believe I would be an Inventor with a multiclass into Bard. Taking a little love and flavor from Paizo’s Pathfinder2e playtest, Inventor would definitely transfer what I do in real-life into TTRPG terms. The ability to think creatively, use my brain to come up with sideways solutions to problems, and constantly have creations to put out in the real world is what I’m about. Then, to think in terms of the streams and podcasts I am a part of, the worlds I create, and the tales I spin, I imagine a Bardic dip would definitely be warranted. At first, my brain initially went to classify myself as a Wizard. But then, the smart Wizard brain that it would have been realized, I don’t cast magic in real-life, unfortunately. So, without the ability to cast magic, I thought a little more ‘creatively’. Hence, I believe I would be an Inventor with a multiclass into Bard. Taking a little love and flavor from Paizo’s Pathfinder2e playtest, Inventor would definitely transfer what I do in real-life into TTRPG terms. The ability to think creatively, use my brain to come up with sideways solutions to problems, and constantly have creations to put out in the real world is what I’m about. Then, to think in terms of the streams and podcasts I am a part of, the worlds I create, and the tales I spin, I imagine a Bardic dip would definitely be warranted.
Delving in a little more to the Inventor first, I believe my Innovation would be Process. The ability to innovate and develop processes is key to making a balance between a creative streaming/podcasting life and real-life. Developing the processes is what allows us to strive to be better every time we put content into the world. I would also venture to say I’m probably about level 4, with both of the class-feats being dipped into the Bard Multiclass Archetype.
Only two feat dips into the Bard Multiclass Archetype makes sense to me, considering that while I’m a storyteller and world builder, the foray into the “professional and learned” side of that like a Bard would have, has only been over the past year to two. Double that up with now being on live-streams and creating content, I will gladly take up the mantle of a multi-classed Bard.
I have to imagine that going down this road though, that I was allowed to take the free Core Archetype of Beastmaster Dedication so that my dogs can adventure along with this life with me since they are an important part of it. With the rest of the adventuring party of WafflesMapleSyrup, I believe I fill a good supportive role while also having the capability to be the face if needed. And thus, you now know the real-life TTRPG Waffles.
Alek aka Mysticsage “Mystic”
If anyone could see my real-life stat block, I think the only class that I could be in is a Bard, without question. For me, the bard walks the line between the wizard’s intellectual intelligence and the cleric’s emotional intelligence. They are both the masters of social interaction and a wealth of information for every subject under the sun regardless of how niche or useful, and they create a balance that few others can match. That balance is something that I have always tried to create in my own life. I have always studied things that have interested me no matter how obscure or meaningless the subject may seem on the surface, I’ve always found that it has use somewhere at some time or other. Also like the bard, I understand that while I may be okay on my own I function better as a part of a group. I know I would be nothing without my support structure that I’ve built up over time. Every bond I’ve made even for a limited time means something special to me and has its own story behind it. Speaking of stories, storytelling is at the center of the bard’s holistic approach to life.
Regardless of medium, be it through dance, music, art, acting, or writing, the bard knows the value of narrative. That narrative is the ultimate form of legacy that allows the past to reach the present to create the future. And while I may still not be at the point where my craft is as sharp a blade as your average bard’s. My dreams are the same. I want to tell the stories that have been in my head since I was small. To share with others worlds and people that they would never otherwise see, so that maybe they can see our own world in new ways. After all, it is my opinion that life does it’s best to imitate art given enough time. While I doubt I’ll make something groundbreaking like Issac Asimov or as heart wrenching as Dickens. I believe every story has an audience somewhere and if I can reach even one person then it’s worth it. After all isn’t that part of the core appeal of any story based game?
It provides the chance to escape from one reality and experience some new part of ourselves that would be difficult to explore otherwise. Bard’s like me just understand that power of the heart and mind in people and venerate it. No simple equations or will of the gods could ever hope to match something so powerful as the will even if it can be a bit fragile at times. So please, if you see me around feel free to say hi! Us bard’s are always looking for the next interesting story or bit of lore that might come in handy! Even if we get a bad wrap as the clowns or puppet masters we care deeply for others, and we here to chronicle the good times and the bad. We feel your happiness and your pain and watch with glee everyday someone decides to take a leap of faith to make their own adventures! At least that’s what they taught me at my college!
Cory aka Karik
If I found myself waking up as a TTRPG class then I think I would end up being a wizard. It also happens to be one of my favorite classes to play, when I actually end up being a player. I think the main reason I would be a wizard is that they are a very versatile class with the ability to achieve great power. To be able to handle nearly any challenge of any magnitude, I can’t see how it would not draw people to it. Not to mention, wizards are also fairly inquisitive by nature and if I were suddenly in a world where magic were real you can bet I would be exploring it in an instant.
With a bit of planning and foresight a wizard can tackle nearly any task before them, and though it takes a great deal of time and effort it would be something the real me would be more than willing to pursue. In time those versatile tools become unbelievably powerful as well, and power is always a draw to someone. Not that I want to be an evil archmage (Who, me? No never…), but even at its most basic magic makes life quite convenient and provides comfort and reassurance. Prestidigitation your chores away, your house pet is a familiar that can shift to whatever creature you want to hang out with that day, and you can slow fall when you fall off the roof clearing the snow from it! For when things are getting more serious, a shield to protect you, firebolts to defend you, and misty steps to get you out of there! As a person who likes to be confident in their decision making, the abilities of a wizard would be very much what I value. Does it mean I can’t fail? Of course not. But being a wizard gives you a sense of control, and when things go wrong at least you know where the fault lies.
The inquisitive aspect is also important to me as well – and why I think wizard would simply be the class I would find myself as. If the whole world was open to you, and by intense studying you could unlock it, how could you not? As much as I am not one who enjoys taking tests or writing papers, I love to learn. I enjoyed highschool and college a great deal, and was always eager to delve into what was being taught. True, memorization was never my strong suit so I don’t expect the Keen Mind feat or anything, but learning and trying to understand more about the world around me was always enjoyable and exciting to me. Being a wizard invites inquiry, and to push bounds, and that is why by my very nature a wizard is the right class for me.
I’ve heard from my guests; now I want to hear from you. Who’s your favorite character? Leave a comment below, on our Discord, or on Know Direction’s Facebook page.