RPG: Interview with a Bard

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BoLS had a chance to talk to Amy Vorpahl, the bard behind Songs in the Key of D&D…

We had a chance to talk with the bard herself, Amy Vorphal, star of stage and screen and um, other differenter kinds of screens. Seriously modern society, we need a newer appellation for this sort of thing–how about star of stage and stream? At any rate, you can see Amy Vorphal in many places like the Foreververse or the Saving Throw Show–and whose album we covered because the SXSW Festival truly has something for everyone.

Anyway, read on below for some table talk:


BoLS: What’s your favorite Edition? And what kind of gaming do you enjoy the most?

I love 3.5e. It’s tough to say it’s my favorite, because I’m enjoying 5e quite a bit now, too. But 3.5 was my first epic 4-year long game in college, and it will always have a place in my heart. Any game that allows for intense scene work-type role playing is my jam!

Raspberry is my jam…

What’s the closest call you’ve had in a game? And did you manage to turn things around?

I’ve been killed and resurrected in D&D, but the worst event (and the inspiration for “The Worst of the Terrible Things” song) was in a Fantasy Flight Star Wars Edge of the Empire game when my DM killed off my character because he had rolled three despairs. I didn’t even get a counter roll. I laugh/cried for about five minutes while my body was trying to figure out how to handle the emotion.

Got a favorite character and/or setting? 

I have so so so many favorite characters, but what they all have in common is they’re all a little bit sad. In a good way! In a way that makes them vulnerable and open to making friends. For instance, a human cleric/barbarian was obsessed with calling her adventuring group her family, a dwarf fighter was super ugly but kept trying to tell herself she was pretty, one was a half-elf druid who could never find a mate so she kept a gorilla familiar and named him Hope to piss off her parents.

Better a Gorilla than a Girallon, I suppose…

Would you consider doing songs inspired by another game? 

Other game songs: I’d absolutely love to write more songs and make another album, and it makes sense to do it about a game! My background is comedy writing, so having a concept in mind actually helps focus me when I’m writing songs. I have a show on Geek and Sundry called “ForeverVerse” in which I and my good friend Jason Charles Miller write a song inspired by the previous week’s events each week. We’ve got quite a collection of songs at this point, so our compilation might be my next album, but who knows! I’m in love with Breath of the Wild right now, so maybe I’ll make a concept album for that.

What’s another moment you’ve taken stuff from around the table and applied it to “real life?”

Around the table/real life: I’m a big believer in the way you do one thing is the way you do all things, and my M.O. is “whatever is the most fun, do it!” I’m lucky that I get to work at a nerdy gaming-centric company surrounded by other people with similar interests, but I’m not surprised that’s where I wound up–I’m pretty good at choosing the most fun road possible for my life. In D&D and other RPG’s, I do the same thing–my characters tend to choose the biggest risk/reward adventure options. It sometimes backfires and gets them killed, but I always feel good about their decisions (and mine haha).

Songs in the Key of D&D

Finally, some songs to play whenever it’s time to Inspire Courage… anyway feel free to share *your* answers to these questions below…

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