Satine Phoenix is a leading voice in the ever-growing Dungeons & Dragons community and a key player on several popular streaming shows. When she's not DMing her own all-bard campaign on The Sirens, she's also heading up her own production studio, Gilding Light, and working on several other projects, including voicing the Chultan Priest of Waukeen Obaya Uday in the recently released expansion of Neverwinter, which takes players into the famous Undermountain mega-dungeon.
ComicBook.com had the chance to speak with Phoenix via email about the growth of the D&D community in recent years and her role in the recently released Neverwinter expansion.
ComicBook.com: Dungeons & Dragons has experienced unprecedented growth in recent years. Why are more and more people coming to the game?
Satine Phoenix: With the rise of live streams, people all over the world now have accessibility to watch others play all kinds of DnD games in different styles. There are incredible movements in showing diversity in gaming and it's reflected in the casting of these shows. Finally, the world of gaming has representation and from there all have permission to find their own gaming bliss and partake in a community they might have been too scared to have gotten involved in previously, whether digitally or at the tabletop.
One appeal of D&D, for me at least, is the community aspect of the game, and you’re a major cornerstone of that community both in LA and online. How can D&D players grow their own local communities and build on the example you’ve provided?
This is my life goal; to bring the community together. Not only that, but to build a supportive community so that many of us have the chance to grow and heal and become our best selves. I always recommend starting at your local game store, but you can also grow your community on meetup.com. That’s how I started. The key factor is showing support, embracing the different play styles, and listening to players and GMs when they come to you with personal issues with other gamers. Rather than shun, truly listen to each other and remember that not all games/stories are for everyone. It’s ok to move people to different tables until you find one that fits. One way to figure out how to place people is to talk with each player and find out what they are looking for and what their boundaries are. Match them with GMs and other players who want the same thing and you’ll begin to create a solid community.
You recently opened Gilding Light, which serves as the new home for your Sirens D&D show. How did Gilding Light come about and what are your plans for the new company?
I wanted to create a production studio that mirrored my vision of art and gaming. The content created in Gilding Light is born from the wanting to do more in the fantasy genre using different storytelling styles. As a comic book artist who studied cinematography, storyboarding & directing I wanted more ways to communicate and create.
As is with most starting companies, the planning and production process is a journey. We are working with Idle Champions on a new show called “Storyteller’s Guide” and will be posting a range of projects from a fun short series with Amy Vorpahl to stuff like DnDinaJet that is up on youtube.com/gildinglight now. By the end of the year we hope to have more videos to help GMs and Players hone their craft and become better storytellers.
So how did you get involved with Neverwinter? Could you tell us a bit about the character you’re playing in the game?
I met Thomas Foss, the game’s Lead Designer, at the Stream of Many Eyes but had known about Neverwinter for some time. One of the great things about our DnD community is how encouraging everyone is. One conversation led to more and I was lucky enough to be invited to voice Obaya Uday, Chultan priest of Waukeen. She is a quest-giver, sponsoring the new Expeditions feature in Undermountain.
Neverwinter has been online for six years now - how has the game succeeded where other MMOs have struggled?
Much like a good game master, Neverwinter has adapted over time with content from all corners of the Forgotten Realms, which is what I think leads to its success.
What is your ideal D&D party makeup?
I don’t like it when parties have a healer; I like the challenge of figuring ways around getting beaten up. That said, I love bards and the Sirens are my favorite makeup.
What do you hope to see in D&D in the next year?0comments
I hope to see more people sharing their own stories and clever ways of gaming. More gimmicks, more creativity!