We’ve started the countdown to LacunaCon and Play Without Apology is pleased to partner with Women in Tabletop Gaming Month as we once again celebrate the incredible women who contribute to our local gaming communities!
To kick things off for this year’s interview series, we have GM Rue Agustin of Adventurers Anonymous Manila!
Hey Rue, thanks so much for sitting down with us for this! Before we start, Play Without Apology would like to thank you again for running a table at last year’s LacunaCon. Could you introduce yourself to our readers and also talk a little about what the experience was like for you last year?
Hey, I’m Rue. I’m a cat-loving dice-hoarder. I have only been playing since 2015, had my first Dungeons & Dragons Adventurers League (AL) game in 2016, and joined Adventurers Anonymous Manila in 2018 so [that] I could help in events organization.
Do you remember any particular highlights from last year’s event?
Ooh, I liked that there were different kinds of tabletop games being ran at the same time in LacunaCon 2018. In fact, I initially wanted to join as a player but [I] forgot to sign up. Fortunately, I was able to attend as a GM but I was secretly so jealous of the players who were playing different systems. I could overhear the other GMs and man, their games sounded awesome! I play very few systems and I want to explore more in the future.
That’s honestly very encouraging to hear, and we also feel you so much on wanting to try out the other tables and exploring more systems! That said, were there any big takeaways for you both as a GM and guest attending last year’s LacunaCon?
LacunaCon gave me so many feelings. It’s not everyday that I get to be surrounded by women and LGBTQ GMs or players. More often than not, the numbers do not count to our favor. LacunaCon was different. You could feel the feminine energy. It was empowering.
As you know, “Dauntless” is the key theme for this year’s LacunaCon. What would you say keeps you going in the tabletop scene? And what encourages you to keep on playing?
Community building is very important to me as a GM and a guest at LacunaCon. It always feels amazing how tabletop RPGs can bring strangers together to form new bonds that last through several adventures. There’s nothing quite like it.
As a GM, is there anything that you strive for when you share the hobby with others?
When I run D&D games for players who are just getting into the hobby or are entering AL for the first time, I remember to put on a helpful hat. I ask them questions about what kind of adventurer they want to be, what weapons they want to wield, the source of their magic. There is always the option of using pregens, which expedites the process of character creation, but may also reduce player autonomy.
Running games for new players involve helping create these great new characters, and watching minds work as adventurers formulate strategies and solutions. Ultimately [it’s] seeing their faces light up when they succeed towards their goals. [It reminds] me [of] how great tabletop RPGs can be.
At the end of the day, I think GMs should always remember one of the most important goals: it’s all about everyone having fun.
How would you say tabletop roleplaying games have impacted your life?
Tabletop opened a whole new world for me—it’s a world where I can be the kind of adventurer I want to be; it’s a world where I meet all these awesome people from all walks of life. It’s a world I want others to see and be a part of.
On that note, as a member of the community, have you ever felt that you made an impact on others as well?
I don’t know how to answer 😅 I haven’t really reflected on any impact [that] I personally may or may not have made. Hopefully good ones but this is best answered by others. What I know is this—if I had not attended my first AL convention back in 2016, I would not have gotten into AL and became a part of this amazing community. So I thank convention organizers because they are responsible for expanding the horizons of tabletop in the Philippines.
Finally, since we’re celebrating Women in Tabletop Gaming Month this June, do you have anything that you’d like to share to the other women who are either in or may be interested in the hobby?
Go us! Hahaha! I personally think I have been fortunate to know and play with so many wonderful female players. Have you seen what these women bring to the table? Ugh, their mere presence, their theatricality! Female players serve jaw-dropping makeup looks and cosplay ideas, too!
[I’ve seen] fewer women than men in the tabletop rpg scene here. But that number has been growing. Women are changing the dynamic and making our co-adventurers accountable for their role playing choices. If anyone who identifies themselves female is interested in playing any tabletop game, (I have recommendations!), don’t hesitate to join the Facebook groups, sign up for newbie conventions, or even just pm one of these lovely people from Play Without Apology.
Thank you again, for taking time for this interview, Rue. This was honestly such a treat! For readers interested to know how things went down at her table last year, we encourage you to check out this awesome rundown from WeGoneGeek.
Editor’s Note: This article has been lightly edited for clarity. Featured photo by Ian Gonzalez via Unsplash.
#LacunaCon2019 is this June 22! Interested to attend? Hop on over to our official Facebook event page!