Tuesday, September 13

What's in a name?

I thought I might share with where Seraphinalina came from.  It's a bit of a mouthful, and while it has no attachment to my real name, it has attachment to me.  I'm afraid this is going to be a very geeky post, it might not make sense to anyone.  If your eyes glaze over, I promise I'll put up some fabric tomorrow.

When we were first living together, Mr Lina said he wanted to run a Dungeons and Dragons campaign and would I want to join?  I had sat in to watch him play with others once or twice so I had a vague idea of what he was asking.  I figured I like to host, I like to feed people (which seemed key at that event) and we were in a one bedroom apartment, where was I going to go?  The balcony?  He had a long running campaign in mind, this was going to be alternating Sunday afternoons for months or years.  I couldn't just go shopping every Sunday, so I opted to join.

I decided to go with what seemed familiar and fun, generally who I would want to be in a Lord of the Rings type world.  I could relate to a halfling (think Hobbit like Frodo or Pippin) being short myself and I thought magic was more fun than swinging a sword.  I thought the Sorcerer class had less book keeping than Wizards.  It's good to give your character personality, it guides decision making along the way, I gave her a fascination with fire, a high charisma (key skill for Sorcerers), good dexterity and low strength.  Seraphina was one of the names suggested in the book for halflings and I thought it was pretty.  After a couple of sessions, I really came to like playing, hosting, the imagination involved in a game that has no real board or script.  Seraphina took on a real personality in my mind.

Being married to the dungeon master, I didn't miss a session, so she was getting higher in levels than the rest who would miss occasionally.  I pursued a  prestige class that really didn't help her but added character.  Any opportunity I had for her to set things on fire, she did.  Once, she got pissed off with team mates getting in the way during combat and set off a fireball where it was safe so she could see it burn.  Then we took on a red dragon.  I made it a life altering event for her, she found the power of the dragon awe inspiring and started perusing the Dragon Disciple prestige class.  So picture a very pretty, charismatic halfling (not even 4' tall) with brass dragon (known for being chatty, relatively small and fire as a breath weapon) scales for skin and could breathe fire. If the campaign lasted for another level and I would have talked Mr Lina into letting me have non-functional wings.  She was technically too small for wings, but oh I wanted them for her.

Our D&D group was truly too large.  Ideally it's 4-5 players plus the DM, we had 8.  It was big so people could miss a session and we'd still play, but it really made it hard on Mr Lina to scale the opposition appropriately.  Then it was like herding cats to schedule (and strategy in game) and we just didn't get back to it after a summer break.  I still kind of miss her, she was a lot of fun.

Fast forward a few years, I was setting up an etsy account to buy something and every usual name I use seemed to be taken.  I added lina to Seraphina and it was free so I took it.  In setting a name for my blog, it worked as something not attached to real life but I really do have an attachment for it (and again, it was available).  I figure I can call my husband Mr Lina, and when I finally get around to a duct tape dummy or dress form, maybe she can be Phina.

We still play D&D, a different campaign with different friends, usually through Oct-May as schedules allow.  I am playing another sorcerer, but her personality is very different.  I like Nixi, she's again charismatic, she's a team player, she's still pissed at the fighter for killing her a few years ago.  She picks spells oriented on water and weather over fire, cone of ice perhaps being a favourite at the moment.  Nixi has ended up more powerful than Seraphina ever was, but there are times when I miss the glee she would feel charring the bad guys with a fireball spell.


  1. Hee hee! I have never played D&D but if I'd been around the right people when I was a teenager I would totally have been there. I read the books like crazy. I actually sat in on a game this past summer for the first time---my husband asked his buddy to DM one for him special for his birthday.

    Now I'm going to wish I'd named my blog "Siduri Sews"... that was my World of Warcraft character during my years of addiction to that game.(she was a tailor by trade, too...)

    Ah, well. I like Tanit-Isis, too. :)

  2. Without my geeky husband, I never would have played. He's from Brandon, MB and often says there is nothing to do in Brandon Manitoba so you make your own fun. D&D and other non-mainstream boardgames were a big part of his teen/university years. When we go back to visit, there is usually a night of gaming arranged.

    I'm glad you sat in on a session, a birthday one-off is a good way to see it without the time sink of an actual campaign. It's really hard to explain it to others. My friends are still very confused at the way I talk about Seraphina or Nixi, like they are real and these things happened to them. But in my imagination, they really did happen.

    Siduri Sews... that would have a nice ring to it. Siduri has a nice sound to it, I like vowels. I never got into WoW, although Mr Lina and friends certainly did. I got addicted to just chatting on ICQ years ago, I'm afraid of what would happen if I added a game to a chat interface. I stick to the in person gaming.

  3. Now I'm flashing back to playing D & D in grade school! It was pretty basic level play, but caused fights between me and my best guy friend. He got exasperated because I always wanted to be an elf or a magic user -- he finally said, "Why do you always have to be something PRETTY?" I can't even remember the names I used, I was barely in double digits at the time.

    Afraid to try WoW also, for much the same reason (but I don't really have an addictive personality).

  4. I must say I love getting comments on this post because I totally thought it would just confuse people.

    I can totally see fights breaking out over D&D. Even with grown adults playing there are moments of frustration that are eased with Doritos or spinach dip. He had no grounds to pick on you for playing pretty magic using elves. Did he chose to be a half orc all the time? I bet he had a favourite class and race.

  5. Hehe... WoW got me bad (the only video game that ever has, by the way). The combination of the continuous-loading world, online interaction, and intense end-game raids was absolute crack for me. And trying to do five-hour raids two or three nights a week when you have small children is, ah, a BAD idea. And I still fight off a little twitch every now and then...

    I hung up with a bunch of Vampire: the Masquerade LARPers in high-school and took it up kind of in self-defense. I had the cutest little Nosferatu... (which if you're familiar with the game is kind of a an oxymoron, but I liked it.) (Oh, and my husband ALWAYS has to play something pretty. And Chaotic-Good.)

  6. My truly addictive game was Sim City 2000. I couldn't turn it off, I just slow it down to watch tv with my room mate (so it looked like I wasn't playing) and hope a hurricane didn't destroy my city while I was gone.

    I've only gone to a LARP once. My husband was with a group prior to me meeting him, Nosferatu as well and I did catch the oxymoron there. There was a small side game that was started up, I went as his ghoul, but there was only the one session and I couldn't stop giggling. It just left me a little dumb struck, I am not much of an actor and I certainly can't come up with my own script.

    Seraphina was chaotic good, Nixi might be neutral good, I'd have to double check that, it's been a while since our last session. Mr Lina tends to be the shit disturber rogue. Or in something like Fable, he did everything evil to the point he had horns and flies. I, by contrast, had a halo and butterflies.


Thanks for your comments, I love to have a two way conversation. I seem to be getting a lot of spam from anonymous users and am turning off the ability to comment that way. I really would like to hear from you so if you do want to add your two cents without an OpenId, email me at seraphinalina at gmail dot com.