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.
Tell us about yourself, what’s your background?
I’m Rachel Teng, from the Philippines. I work as a training coordinator for a healthcare company, and also organize hobby events for tabletop roleplaying games with Gamers and Gaming Meets Philippines. In my free time, I play a lot of tabletop RPGs and the MMO Final Fantasy 14.
My entry into the TRPG hobby was actually not D&D — I started playing in 2005 using World of Darkness with some friends, and my first D&D game was not until 2015 using D&D 5th Edition. Up until then, I was playing any system my group wanted to try.
When I joined Gamers & Gaming Meets in 2015, I ended up expanding my gaming tables and had the opportunity to play under multiple new GMs — a few of them of them got me into some D&D5e campaigns, and while it’s not our main system, it has been a staple at our table ever since.
Tell us about your D&D character
My current active D&D5e character is for our Eberron campaign. My Warforged, Bismuth, was a warmage for the Cyrian army, and was present during when the catastrophic event called the Mourning wiped out the majority of the country’s populace. He strongly identifies as Cyrian and has spent all his time campaigning for his countrymen’s welfare and rights, looking for a way to forward Warforged equality and rights, and researching ways to reverse the Mourning such that his countrymen can take back their lands.
He’s a high intelligence but low wisdom character, and being only eight years old and quite unfamiliar with the nuances of culture, often gets into small troubles when talking to people high or low. Bismuth is a fun paradox of traits that I am enjoying playing — painfully earnest but also clinically rational, good-natured but ruthless, and trusting but calculating.
In the last year Bismuth has been courting an assassin-model Warforged, Blue, and recently got her to agree to marriage. He is quite excited to explore relationships and creating a family, and has volunteered for a secret invention that may allow Warforged like them to have children. One of things Blue can do is taste things, with special modifications to her mouth, so Bismuth began to learn how to bake to make her good bread. I had thought it would be easy enough, given his high intelligence, but it took maybe 8 sessions or the equivalent of 5 levels or 8 months in game to manage it. The only way he can express emotion on his face is via two new eyebrow plates that go up and down, and that was indeed a day of “happy” eyebrows for him.
Just tonight, we came across a frenzied red dragon and Bismuth was able to, with the help of the party, convince him to spare us and let us “help” him instead. What followed was a Mission Impossible trip into his mind to banish the influence of Tiamat temporarily, just enough to get him and a small platoon of younger dragons together to charge the seal that Tiamat is attempting to break. Will we survive the next session? Wish us luck!
Why do you play D&D?
The collaborative storytelling aspect of TTRPGs makes it a fun social activity for me, and very few things are more satisfying to me than getting thrown difficult problems and solving them with my party. There are thousands of diverse stories, settings, themes, and play styles that we can explore as players and GMs, that teach us to vary our thinking and prompt us to approach challenges in a myriad of ways. I think practicing these skills while also learning to navigate and negotiate different social settings both as yourself and as your character is a valuable experience you can get, all while also having fun.
Rachel is an events organizer for the Filipino group Gamers and Gaming Meets. She spends all her free time doing logistics, playing TRPGs, or running around in Final Fantasy XIV as a little potato. While not particularly inclined to GM or design her own games, Rachel instead readily jumps into any game world as a player — especially if she can be a halfling.