Player Profiles: Earl Ng

Anyone can play D&D, and a D&D player can come from anywhere. Our “Player Profile” series hopes to highlight the diverse backgrounds of D&D players that have passed through our doors.

For our first Player Profile entry, one of our founders, Earl Ng, talks about what D&D means to him.

Tell us about yourself, what’s your background?

For the majority of time that I spend not playing D&D, I am an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems Consultant for the Nomura Research Institute (NRI) in Hong Kong. An ERP System, is a piece of software that is primarily used by factories to control their operations. Factories have massive operations, they can include (1) buying and selling goods, (2) managing production, and (3) accounting. An ERP system is meant to keep track of all of these functions for the factory’s employees. All this data should be easily accessible, and can be quickly changed and updated based on what’s happening on the factory floor.

Aside from ERP systems, my current position also gives me the opportunity to research new technologies and their applications. One of the more exciting new projects I’ve had the pleasure of being on, is studying different machine learning algorithms, and their possible applications to the manufacturing industry.

I am also a part of the Global Shapers Community: Hong Kong hub where we work to drive dialogue, action, and change for a better Hong Kong. The Glowing fool is an initiative of the Hong Kong hub.

So, (1) guy that plays board games, and (2) in a somewhat technical job. Yeah, I’m a nerd.

Tell us about your D&D character

I mostly Dungeon Master (DM) these days. So I don’t really have just one character, but several. I imagine that my most used character would have to be Kasperle. He’s the warm and welcoming Firbolg innkeeper to the Glowing Fool Tavern. If you’ve ever joined us for a D&D session, chance are that you’ve met him during our games.

Kasperle, Innkeeper to the Glowing Fool Tavern

I always like to describe Kasperle as having this ever present smile. Being the innkeeper to the Glowing Fool Tavern (the namesake of our project), he’s sort of our semi-official mascot. So when I was coming up with Kasperle, I wanted him to be the personification of all the values that we hope to convey here at the Glowing Fool.

First of all, I like to think of Kasperle as always being very warm and welcoming, especially to the new patrons of his tavern. Whether it be offering you a chair, giving you a space by the fire, or trying to put together your favorite exotic drink with what he has laying around. Kasperle will always have an open heart for new comers.

Secondly, Kasperle is constantly enamored by his patrons’ stories. The one thing that will always enrapture Kasperle and grab his attention, is an epic tale from one of his adventurer-guests. It could be about how they saved a town, or got into trouble buying milk. Kasperle will always have an open ear to any story that comes his way.

And finally, I would say that Kasperle will always be ready to help out those in need. He is no stranger to the concept of needing help. So he isn’t shy in offering his aid to those that need it. There have been many occasions where Kasperle has heard about nearby villagers needing help, but not having the money to pay. And Kasperle taking money out of his own pocket to pay adventuring parties to help these villagers. Kasperle will always have an open eye to the needs of others.

Why do you play D&D?

I play D&D because it brings joy and happiness. Not just to me, but to those that I play with. Being a DM, my play experience is a bit different from those that just play their player-characters (PCs). DMing takes a bit more effort since it involves being the “lead storyteller” for the game, and creating the challenges and encounters the players may face. It includes preparing before the session, and needing to be ready to throw all that preparation out the window if the players go in a different direction.

So why do I do it? I do it for the smiles I see on my friends’ faces when they have an amazing time playing D&D. There is something about the sparkle you see in a player’s eye when you’ve put a problem front of them, and they manage to find a creative way to solve it. It makes me especially proud when they come up with a solution that I didn’t even think about.

The joy that I have brought to my friends’ faces through my own efforts. That’s why I play D&D.