Dana Ebert (she/her) is an openly bisexual and transgender author, game designer, and voice actor, best known for her contributions to Pathfinder 2e and Starfinder. Dana created Pathfinder’s first canonical in-world gender affirmation clinic (also boutique and day spa!), and some of her other works include OGL 5e-compatible content. You can find more information and links to her website, social media, and upcoming projects on her LinkTree.
Dana, when did you first start playing D&D and TTRPGs? What do you enjoy the most about the game?
My first TTRPG was the Tom Moldvay edition of Basic D&D, which I played for the first time with my older brother and his friends when I was ten. That was a huge turning point for me, because I instantly fell in love with the medium. The part I enjoy most is the shared storytelling—those moments of surprise and triumph that lead to stories that get re-told around the table for years to come. As a player, I also enjoy the catharsis that comes from fully inhabiting another character for a few hours.
As a queer person, have roleplaying games helped you explore or express your queer identity and/or sexual orientation?
Oh, jeez. Let’s just say that the character I played nearly every week in high school was named Mavis. She was 6′ tall, with olive-green hair and shoulders for days. But the best part about playing her, the part I wouldn’t admit back then, was that during our sessions, everyone at the table referred to me in-character and used she/her pronouns. As Mavis, I also explored in other ways, such as near the end of the campaign when she married one of the party NPCs (a goblin who polymorphed himself into an excruciatingly handsome human to get her attention). So yes, that was very much my experience, even if I didn’t realize it at the time.
You are a professional DM. What is your style of DMing and what kinds of players would most enjoy playing with you?
My style can be very writerly, and I almost exclusively run original content. Past players have told me that the things they enjoyed most were my worldbuilding, my willingness to improvise and take their story in unexpected directions, and how I let them alter and impact my campaign settings. The “rule of cool” and roleplay-heavy scenes are two things that I enjoy utilizing immensely, and while I can also adhere to other styles of play, I think the players who strongly prefer my style tend to like those same things.
You are bringing your love of TTRPGs into an exciting new project. What can you tell readers about TPK Brewing Co., a TTRPG-themed brewery in Portland, Oregon?
TPK Brewing Co. is a craft brewery where, in addition to world-class food and original brews, our guests will be able to book games with full-time Game Masters. We’re going to offer a variety of titles, but our flagship experience will be an OGL 5e-compatible campaign called the “Leyfarer’s Chronicle.” It takes place in an original post-cataclysmic fantasy world called Val’Ruvina, which groups of player characters will simultaneously explore while contending with broken magical fields, warped creatures, and regular storyline events. I explain much more in our upcoming promos, so please sign up for our newsletter at tpkbrewing.com!
TPK Brewing Co. is majority-owned by queer women of color. In what ways do you anticipate that this ownership model will be an asset to the company and to future visitors and guests?
Part of our company’s mission is to create space for marginalized groups in the craft beer and gaming communities, and that begins with ensuring that our own spaces are as safe and inclusive as possible. On the gaming side, this means that safety tools will be part of our culture, we’ll always strive to keep our content inclusive and anti-racist, and we won’t hesitate to remove guests who can’t adhere to our community guidelines. In this way, we hope to build a durable and welcoming community for ourselves and our guests.
When should people (myself included!) plan to come to TPK Brewing Co.?
We plan to open our doors in the spring of 2023! We would love to see you there!
Finally, do you have any recommendations of queer nerdy content that you would like to share with readers?
I’ve had the pleasure lately of getting to work with several Portland-based artists, and I’d love to highlight a couple of them from the LGBTQ community!
- Spyder Dee is simply a phenomenal creature artist—they always manage to exceed my expectations with their wonderfully terrifying blend of the fantastical and the grotesque.
- Alejandra Gutiérrez is a powerhouse. At Image Comics she has contributed to titles including Twisted Romance and SFSX, and was the one who created our promotional splash page featured above.
- Brie Golden has been up-and-coming for some time, producing stunning battle maps for AP podcasts and livestreams. We should all expect to hear her name more in the future.
- Elodie Kahler has a whimsical illustration style that never fails to make me smile. She recently finished an illustration of our building that we all absolutely adore.
For more from Dana, check out her LinkTree!
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