Name: Alex French
Occupation: Counter worker at The Hidden Lair, 1460 N. Illinois 121
City of residency: Decatur
You say role-playing games (RPGs) are among your specialties. What is a role-playing game and how do you play them?
RPGs are essentially games where you make up a character and play through a scenario with a game master or DM (dungeon master) — whichever your prefer. They mold the story to what the player experiences, and as (characters) go through it, they level up, fight the main boss and the restart to go on different adventures.
RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons have been very popular for over the past 30 years. Why do you think people love these games so much?
The way I look at it, it lets people have a chance to be free with a life they can control. It gives people a chance to live out their fantasies. They can't fight a dragon or do magic in real life, but in fantasy games, they can let loose and enjoy their imagination.
Do you have a go-to character type you like to play as?
In my experience, I personally enjoy the up-front characters that protect the other players. Like heavy, damage-taking tanks and heavy damage-outputting people. I enjoy making sure my teammates are safe. I have dabbled in different play styles, but I just lean more toward being up front.
What is it about RPGs that first drew you toward them?
For me, it kind of just started with reading a lot of fantasy books. I've always enjoyed the fantasy genre and just playing games whenever I had the opportunity, and that grew into what it is today.
It's a pretty fun hobby, and I've had a lot of good experiences working here and helping other people find out what they like.
We're always looking for more people to play here. If anyone ever wants to come in and play a game, we're open every day and we've got several different games on our demo shelf.
Have you played any games recently that you've really liked?
It's called Pathfinder. It's like D&D, and was made by people who were wanting something like D&D in their own style. They're similar in a sense, but they're vastly different. Pathfinder is a little more number-crunchy, and the outcome is pretty awesome.