Over the past five years I’ve participated in YachtCon — sometimes as talent, sometimes as green room host. In 2019 and 2020, while with Tacoma Defiance I sold off the opportunity to join the broadcast booth for a match. Those 2020 winners are still waiting to do that, as the covid-19 pandemic made that option unsafe.
Still wanting to give some South Sound flavor to an event that will be entirely virtual I needed to come up with a different idea. Ambition got the best of me, and with Sounder at Heart/Nos Audietis manager Jeremiah Oshan’s approval Dungeons & Dragons & Defiance: Invasion of the Trees was launched. DDD:253 is a charity game with two celebrity guests and five PC spots for people who donated $60 dollars to the Autism Center at Seattle Children’s Hospital. DDD:253 sold out in 24 hours. There’s still plenty of opportunity to join the audience for the live stream of this 3-hour tour of D&D.
There are also many other opportunities to join in on classes about pizza making, wine tasting (observer only), cocktail shaking, watercolor painting, and so much more. All of them will have twists related to the pro soccer teams in the area, including celeb participants. Just as gaming conventions had to adapt, so did YachtCon. The group of passionate Sounders/Reign/Defiance fans haven’t been to a match together since March 8, 2020. It’s possible that the 2020 YachtCon was the last time we were all together. This year’s event is as much about re-connecting the community as it is raising funds. That’s why you can audit every “class” for free. But, it’s also a way to raise funds. The Nos Audietis/Sounder at Heart/Ride of the Valkyries group has raised over $30,000 dollars in the past five years. Please join us. There’s even kickass soccer gear.
What is DDD: 253 – Invasion of the Trees?
This is a short adventure inspired by Tacoma and Tacoma Defiance, set in a small frontier town common in so many fantasy worlds. This port village has a tavern where a local leader needs help. Our adventuring party is going to help the city defend itself from an invasion from the south. Along the way they will meet hazards, possible allies, and of course the enemy(ies?).
Railroads have been avoided, which means there are nearly a dozen encounters, but in a 3-hour session only a handful will ever be used. Maybe, just maybe, the whole world will see the product after the live adventure, which will be streamed. There will be no VTT, everyone will track their damage, spells, etc with paper sheets in their own homes. Maps and art will be via a shared screen and the experience will be Theater of the Mind, rather than tactical. The model being followed is the Stranger Things x D&D game from early winter rather than highly produced streams like Critical Role.
Each participant is getting an individual session zero, which will involve character creation and an agreement on option rules. They are also getting pixel art of their PC, using the ReRoll app. Each will also get a set of dice, which is especially handy for those who are playing for the first time.
Meet Lorenzo Snapdragon
Lorenzo is a human bard, run by Tacoma Defiance Head Coach Wade Webber. He’s as handy with his lute as he is with a dagger or rapier. Sometimes he’ll bang a drum or play a recorder, but mostly he likes the strings to accompany his songs and poetry. Snapdragon is likely to be the charismatic face of the party.
Meet Du-Rag, The Honest
Du-Rag, The Honest, is run by Defy professional wrestler and Destiny City Comics owner Ethan HD. Du-Rag is a half-orc cleric, who is as comfortable in the streets as he is in the pulpit. His friends? He’ll heal them. The Honest will usually try words first, but those that stay enemies face the dagger, or the power of his god.
Rest of the Party
Over the next week the rest of our adventuring party is being filled out. When those are done we’ll share the character art for them. There’s already a tortle warlock, a half-orc barbarian joining the cause. The group is banding together to defend a lumber town, with a port, a gritty city of unpaved streets with a good bar and neighbors who gather together in defiance of the odds against them.
Again, DDD:253 Invasion of the Trees is part of YachtCon: Back to School. All proceeds from every class go to the Autism Center at Seattle Children’s Hospital.