Dungeons and Dragons with friends over coffee

The Dungeon Master summoned us — five smart, brave and powerful comrades — to fight side by side against the dark powers that be. How did we embark on our journey, you ask? It started with coffee, our favorite brew.

Oh friends over coffee (ofoc)

OFOC! Like the pandemic hitting us when we least expect it, we never planned this to happen. But here it is and we’re making our long-distance friendships work. One chill Saturday afternoon, we just thought, hey, let’s make a vlog! And so OFOC! (oh friends over coffee) was born. Please visit our Youtube channel and subscribe, we promise to make you laugh and think in all our videos.

To watch the video of our DnD game, scroll down to the end. You’ll see us, a bunch of clueless millennial hooligans’ first time to play DnD. Soo much fun!! I felt like I was watching a bloopers reel of the TV sitcom Friends, but we’re all actual decade-long friends for real, so even better right? 🙂

It all started with a casual zoom call among close friends from UP Los Baños now scattered across the globe – Josh and Roanna in California, Kiko with his girlfriend Kat in QC, Tasha in Doha and me (May) in LB. We were college radio jocks on LBFM 97.4, so our love for nerd culture, creativity and broadcasting strongly bonds us. Needless to say, our friendships withstand the test of time and our chemistry is off the charts.

So, without further ado, let me share with you how our Dungeons and Dragons (DnD) journey began. Let our collective imaginations take you to a place of wonder and adventure among a band of tight-knit comrades. But first, I’ll quickly walk you through the DnD gameplay. I’m a beginner, so this should be fairly easy to absorb.

Dungeons and Dragons – mechanics and gameplay via Zoom

People have been playing DnD for over 40 years since its first publication in 1974. It’s a role-playing game where story-telling takes center stage. So, unlike ordinary board games where people often use cards, boards, or chips and whatnot — in DnD, players use their imagination and creativity. If you’re up for that kind of unbridled fantasy challenge, this game is perfect for you. If you like fantasy so much, I also wrote a free verse poem called The Queen’s Road.

It isn’t that hard to get used to either, contrary to my first impression of the game. After a while, one tends to go with the flow and create journeys that are never the same. So if you love random fun and surprise over routine predictability, this game checks that box.

Basically, there are two types of characters – (1) the Dungeon Master and (2) the Adventurers/Players. The Dungeon Master is in charge of the voyage, creating the overall narrative as the lead storyteller and referee. As for the Adventurers who embark on the fun-filled fantasy, my favorite part of DnD is character customization – you can choose whoever you want to be and change it up in every game or keep your favorite character details as your steady alter ego.

Adventurers’ character identity consists of (1) race and (2) class. Once you’ve narrowed that down, just put as much or as little detail into it as you like. Check out the official DnD website for the full gameplay. We were able to wing playing the game online via zoom using PDF character sheets and an online DnD dice generator to roll.

For my very first DnD game, I chose to be a strong and beautiful half-elf ranger named Julianna. I’m a warrior queen of royal elven descent, with my trusty longbow and arrow as my weapon of choice. This queen can shoot far and from great heights. My humble abode is atop a high cliff where I do my daily target practice, and I never miss. I draw power from the heavens, as my shots sound like thunder and flash like lightning. Those that cross me cower, but my allies know my softer elf side. See, fun!! (Credits to Thastalia for the artwork.)

Our DnD journey begins in a decrepit tavern…

Josh, our Dungeon Master, has gathered us all for an adventure. Leviathan (Kiko), Ithilden Makanui (Tasha), Julianna (May), Zeilanica (Roanna), and Kimba (Kat) all sat together in merriment, not knowing the challenges that we have yet to face. Coming from many races — dragonborn, elves, tiefling — we unite under a mission to defend the powerless and fight off injustice.

Ithilden, an exquisite sorceress, orders an unusual drink with a special rare ingredient – snake blood. But as it takes an awful long time to prepare, the gang gets antsy and the discussion turns to rumors of a corrupt mayor destabilizing the town, with supplies being sabotaged and townsfolk unlawfully taxed.

Taken aback, the snake-like fighter Zeilanica takes Julianna to slither around the tavern to see if they can find out more about these rumors. As a suspicious stranger eyes them, Julianna is flustered and decides to take action. She interrogates the stranger, grabbing the man by his collar and asking for what he knows and who he works for, but to no avail.

Frustrated with the uneventful evening, the dragonborns Leviathan and Kimba take the team to the barn inn for the night. Alas, a loud siren alarm disrupts the peaceful evening. Townspeople run amok in fear. Being smart and strategic, the brave team goes up a high roof to gain vantage and sees the commotion right away.

They push forward and fight the goblins wreaking havoc all over town. Fireballs are thrown, arrows shot, scimitars and rapiers slash. Victorious but injured, Leviathan heals himself and the rest of the gang.

We won the battle, but the war has just begun. Stay tuned for part two of this DnD series with Oh Friends Over Coffee (OFOC). 😉

Written by

May Gordoncillo

May is a soul-searching freelance writer/editor who earned her BS and MA degrees in communication from the University of the Philippines. She unleashes her creative prowess in her blog, Luscious Mind.