Prove your humanity

Grok Magazine sits down with Ash Pearson, a third-year Bachelor of Science (Applied Geology) student, to learn more about her interest in TTRPGs (tabletop role-playing games) and her involvement with Curtin Tabletop.

Ash was first introduced to TTRPGs by the internet and a close friend of hers back in 2019.

“[…] I remember thinking, ‘that sounds like the nerdiest shit ever, I want in’,” she laughs. “I then just spent a lot of Year 11 maths classes reading through the rulebooks of D&D (Dungeons & Dragons) 5th Edition.”

Although Ash prefers to dabble in fantasy, she also enjoys playing sci-fi TTRPGs such as Scum and Villainy and Star Wars: Edge of the Empire

“I liked creative writing, but was never happy with any finished product. I also liked performing arts, so the idea of being the characters was fun,” she says.

“The concept of TTRPGs as a whole just seemed to be in the middle of the venn diagram of a lot of my interests.”

Ash Pearson at Curtin Tabletop’s Halloween Murder Mystery Event (2022)
Image Credit: Curtin Tabletop

Since getting into TTRPGs, Ash looks up to Brian Murphy, a player for Dimension 20 and a DM (Dungeon Master) for NADDPod (Not Another D&D Podcast).

“I admire the way he [Brian Murphy] DMs NADDPod, which has a lot of really mechanically creative encounters and fun plot twists,” Ash says.

“I also just enjoy the fact that he fully embraces that running a TTRPG can be a lot like herding cats sometimes.”

When asked about how being a committee member for Curtin Tabletop has benefitted her, Ash mentions that her confidence has improved a lot since she first joined the club. 

“On the first Games Night of semester, all the committee members make an effort to spread out and include as many new people as possible to make them feel welcome. This has helped me be so much more comfortable when surrounded by people I don’t know.” 

Ash also notes that being a committee member has taught her how to properly explain and communicate games and tasks to others, as well as how to run events accordingly.

Curtin Tabletop at Sem 2 Guild O-Day
Image Credit: Curtin Tabletop

As she isn’t a part of Curtin Tabletop’s executive committee, Ash’s club responsibilities tend to vary.

“It [Curtin Tabletop] is very much just a volunteer group where everyone does what they can. Some people put dozens of hours into planning events, other people simply do the drive to get pizzas, and both are things the club couldn’t do without,” she affirms.

“I largely help out with planning and running events. This means it’s a lot of both creative and practical planning behind the scenes, then showing up and helping run events on the day.”

Once she finishes her degree, Ash hopes to become an exploration geologist or work within a company geology graduate program that covers both mining and exploration geology.

“While I’m not sure if mining or exploration geology will be things that I’ll want to do for my entire life, I want to experience working as a geologist in WA for at least a year or two,” Ash says. 

“In my eyes, I’m staying in the uni mindset — not quite sure what I’m doing with my life, learning new things, picking up more skills — but I’ll be picking up professional experience.”

Ash Pearson at Curtin Tabletop’s Sem 1 Megagame Event (2023)
Image Credit: Curtin Tabletop

Ash advises Curtin University students who are interested in TTRPGs to ‘just go for it’.

“If any part of TTPGs or tabletop games in general seems interesting, from the colourful dice to the cool minis, just give it a shot and see what happens,” she recommends. 

“Curtin Tabletop is very welcoming, and we are more than happy to teach new people and invite them into the club. We run Games Nights every Friday (at 300.217, from 5:30pm to 9:30pm) that are completely free to attend. We also have a giant pile of board games that everyone is more than welcome to use.”

Curtin Tabletop plans to hold their upcoming Rollout! event on Saturday the 30th of September, encouraging those who are interested in learning about and playing TTRPGs to attend.