Meet the dungeon master who’s taken her D&D nights online

Board games. Video games. Role play. Escape rooms. Trisha Huang loves them all. But gaming in a pandemic gets a bit tricky – and that’s where Whereby comes in.

Trisha Huang’s a full-time mom of three-year-old twins in San Jose, USA. And she really likes gaming. “When I was a kid, I began writing plays to perform with my friends and sister. Since then, I’ve always loved to tell stories, and games that allow me to do that.”

With her love of gaming and storytelling, Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) was the perfect fit. “In the early 2000s, I was introduced to D&D by a friend, and enjoyed the collaborative storytelling. I started GMing (game mastering), and have done it pretty consistently since 2012.”

Trisha’s regular D&D group has eight people. “We have four women including me, three men, and one nonbinary individual. Three of the players are lawyers, which makes for a very interesting game sometimes! Everyone brings a different play style and background.”

From IRL to URL

After playing together in person for almost 10 years, Covid prompted a big change and the group switched to playing online. “I chose Whereby for a few reasons. We’d started playing through Google Hangouts, but were having more and more technical difficulties. I love that I can leave the Whereby room open. This means I don’t have to constantly stop my train of thought to let someone in if they arrive late and the game’s already started.”

Trisha also made use of Whereby’s custom backgrounds to help with gameplay. “I have my map of the world as my background so I don’t have to switch back and forth between tabs to explain where things are. Everyone can see it.” And being able to share screens has helped, too. “I like how clear screen sharing is. It helps everyone know what’s going on in the game.”

While the pandemic’s stopped Trisha from seeing her regular gaming pals IRL, it’s had some surprising upsides. “I wasn’t able to play with a few of the groups that I’ve started playing with during Covid. Gaming with new people online has been a bright spot in these trying times.”

"Gaming with new people online has been a bright spot in these trying times.”

Life after lockdown

With the possibility of lockdowns lifting, Trisha’s starting to think about a post-pandemic gaming future. “My weekly group will probably go back to meeting in person, but we might use Whereby to bring in people who have a cold or another reason that they can’t be there [...] Being able to interact in the same room has an emotional impact that’s hard to find behind a screen.”

That doesn’t mean it’s the end for Trisha’s online gaming escapades. “I might keep hosting occasional games online when playing with people who can’t be anywhere near my living room. Whereby’s really opened up new ways for me to play with people who I enjoy interacting with, but might not be near me.”

"Whereby’s really opened up new ways for me to play with people..."

Trisha’s top gaming tips

Naturally, we couldn’t let Trisha leave without sharing some hot gaming recommendations. “My favorite role playing game at the moment is D&D 5th edition. It’s a classic, with easy rules for introducing new players. I’ve also run games in the Chronicles of Darkness series, as well as d20 Modern and Star Wars Saga Edition.”

More of a board game fan? Trisha’s got you covered. “As for my favorite board game, I tend to play the app version of the game my husband designed with Tom Lehmann, called Roll for the Galaxy. It’s something I usually do at night before I go to bed.”

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