Resident game master

Autumn Gammill, a resident game master for the Brigandry Games Corner RPG Community sits majestically on the Iron Throne from “Game of Thrones” at the 2019 Hunt County Comic Expo.

As a unique mixture of gaming, storytelling and improvisational theatre, table-top roleplaying games (or RPGs) have long offered fans of fantasy, science fiction and horror a way of enjoying those genres on a whole different level.

Since “Dungeons & Dragons” (or D&D) came on to the scene in 1974, that and several other games have allowed players to create virtually any kind of character imaginable and portray them in an interactive story.

Presiding over RPG sessions is often a “game master” or GM, who acts as writer, narrator, often antagonist and roleplays multiple non-player characters (or NPCs) to flesh out the world the players are navigating.

For the last two years, Autumn Gammill has lent her talents as a resident GM for the Brigandry Games Corner RPG Community, a group based out of Brigandry Games in Commerce that helps table-top gamers or people interested in getting into RPGs find each other.

“We’re really a community and we and the store are very welcoming to experienced and new players,” Gammill said.

The Brigandry Games Corner RPG Community – whose members range in age from 11 to 40 – is made up of several different subgroups that get together on a weekly basis at the store to play games including “D&D,” “Pathfinder” and “Star Wars.”

Some players like playing one-shot games that are played out in a single session while others prefer long “campaigns,” whose stories are told in several installments over the course of months or even years.

“One of the Pathfinder campaigns I started two years ago is still continuing,” Gammill said. “Since then, different players and their characters have been entering and leaving this one long, continuing story. We even have people coming in and playing characters that are the children of past characters.

“Back before the Brigandry Games group, I ran a ‘Vampire: The Masquerade’ campaign in Rockwall that took three years to complete,” Gammill added.

Another way that the group tries to make things as welcoming as possible is by keeping a lot of shared property – such as maps, character miniatures and a rule book library – at the store, and paying for the printing of character creation sheets so that cost doesn’t have to be an issue if someone wants to try table-top gaming.

“We also don’t charge anything to be a member of the group,” Gammill said. “All donations, whether it’s money or things like books for our library are completely voluntary.

“Again, it just comes down to wanting to be as welcoming as possible, because it can help with anxiety and other issues to just ‘leave reality’ for a while.”

Anyone interested in entering the world of table-top RPGs, finding new players to play with or GMing a campaign they’ve had cooking in their heads for a while can contact Brigandry Games at 903-886-0989 for more information. The store is at 2204 Live Oak St., in Commerce.

Travis Hairgrove is a news reporter and features writer at the Herald-Banner and covers city government for many municipalities in Hunt County. To reach him outside of business hours, email THairgroveReporter@gmail.com.

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