I’d been interested in RPGs (role playing games like Dungeons and Dragons) for a long time, but the few times I’d joined a group to play it didn’t really work well for me. First of all, I was almost always the only woman. Secondly, I wasn’t a very experienced player and I felt like I annoyed the other players because I had to spend a lot of time looking things up and asked a lot of questions. Thirdly, I am hugely introverted. Getting up the nerve to the play was a big deal in the first place. Actually playing drained a ton of my emotional energy.
Bummer, I thought. Maybe this just isn’t for me.
Then a new local yarn store opened up near me and everything changed. It was pretty easy to tell that Tori, the owner of Fibre, was super into “nerdy” things like I was. She has a picture of a dragon sleeping on its hoard of yarn over her point of sale. She stocks yarns with sci-fi and fantasy themes. She streams Twitch or Doctor Who on the shop TV.
In conversation, Tori mentioned how cool it would be to have a knitting and D&D group at her shop. We talked about it being more inclusive and welcoming of new players. And then I blurted out, “My husband would GM!” GM means run the game, by the way. He’s been running role playing games since high school. I probably should have asked him first, but hey.
I really, really wanted to try playing again and I thought that by adding knitting to the mix, I might find it less stressful. When I’m in awkward social situations (for me anyway) I break out my knitting because having something to do with my hands helps soothe me. Since the other players would be knitters or crocheters too, we’d automatically have something to talk about to break the ice.
We created a group by word of mouth. Aside from my hubby I knew one other person there. The group was 80% female and split between new players (or players who hadn’t played this edition of D&D) and experienced players. It worked out beautifully. The experienced players had no issue helping the newbies, whether it was looking something up or explaining a rule or asking for something to be clarified. No one was irritated if we had to pause play to help someone out.
We took breaks to admire each other’s projects, shop, help with a pattern or a dropped stitch or retrieve a ball of yarn that rolled under the table. We helped each other with our crafts and our characters, and it was wonderfully supportive and fun. I felt like I finally clicked with a group.
Around Halloween we played a one-shot of Call of Cthulhu and loved it so much that we now we’re playing two games. Tori was kind enough to let us invade her shop two Sundays a month and our role playing adventures got a little spookier and a lot weirder.
It turns out I prefer Call of Cthulhu to D&D. First of all, there’s less math. Secondly it has a lot of horror and mystery elements (both my jam). I play a librarian named Willow Giles (yes I did) and my superpower is reading. How friggin awesome is that?
Call of Cthulhu has a mystery-solving element to it that I love. Our group just got off an island in Maine where a friend of ours vanished after going to repair a lighthouse. He wrote about strange headaches and nightmares and creatures coming out of the ocean. It was such a fun adventure.
It turns out that role playing games and fiber crafts pair really well, and I’m so happy I found a group that enjoys both. It helped me get into a hobby it turns out I really enjoy but had previously felt intimidating.
Do you knit and Twitch? Have you ever played a RPG? Let me know how your “nerdery” and crafting combine.