Table top is for nerds… good thing we’re nerds here too. Every week, I (Lexcee) get to play Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition with some deadly dames in Shield Maidens. These ladies are kicking ass and taking names both in game and in life – so it was time to give them a feature all their own. Each one of these characters and players are phenomenal – so read up the next seven fridays and tune in…

Shield Maidens

“Okay – what is Dungeons and Dragons? How do you play?”

Dungeons and Dragons is a fantasy role playing game (RPG) where people create a character and delve deep into the world created by their dungeon master. You choose a race (Elf, Dwarf, Gnome, Drow, etc) and a class (Bard, Paladin, Monk, Warlock, etc). These help shape your character – the real fun is in who you create with those factors. The backstory you choose is everything, and the improv part of your story is influenced by the dice. Dice are an extremely important part of the game as they control your attributes (intelligence, wisdom, charisma, etc) and they control how you hit and attack. These are the basics of a very intricate and fantastical world.

“Tell us a little about Lexcee”

Well, I’m running daisylight (is it a shameless plug if it’s your own company?) and running a family, not my own – I’m a nanny. I’m working all the time; It’s exhausting and blissful at the same time.  Do I wish I working in the industry more? YES. Both of my jobs are full time so they leave little time for fun, and that’s where Shield Maidens comes in.

Why did you choose to work on Shield Maidens?

I don’t know… That’s not true, I have been working on Lex Effect with Andrew Knoche, creator of The Ghic News, since around Thanksgiving of last year, and it’s fun. On Lex Effect, viewers watch as I navigate the complex world of Mass Effect. I have never been a gamer, in fact, I hated video games. I wanted to ban my future kids from playing them. So he hooked me with the fact that this was work and not a waste of random fun time. After a time, I found myself looking forward to Lex Effect, it many ways it became the highlight of my week, until Shield Maidens started. It’s was another fun thing, but it quickly became so much more than that.

So Shield Maidens is important to you?

Oh yeah. Every week I get to sit around a table with six other brilliant women. Some of them were my friends already, some of them I barely knew, but Shields Maidens has already changed how I view them. It’s all in good light of course, some are so uninhabited and others so interesting that I find myself distracted in the characters – which plays well into who Dahlia is.

Lexcee Riley as Dahlia

Tell us a little about Dahlia.

On paper and in present Dahlia has become two very different things, and I am still searching to show the truth of who she is. In a lot of ways Dahlia is the most fun character I’ve gotten to play, she’s charming, perceptive and dark. A dark elf actually, well a half-drow to be exact. She’s a woman I could see going down a dangerous path if what she wants doesn’t happen, and it’s fun to play with darkness. She is also all the things I’ve never been and this is where it’s hard to play her. Dahlia is outgoing and can get any man or woman she wants, which is not my style. I’m shy, until you get to know me, then I’m one of those people who you can’t shut up. (At least I hope in a good way).

So how is Dahlia like you?

She’s a lover not a fighter. She’s emotionally guided.  She leads with her heart for people and for animals. The animal part even more than I personally am. It’s interesting to be fully invested, it makes a story more compelling. Dahlia is a Druid, which means she strives for balance of nature. When choosing a Druid, you choose one of two paths and I chose Circle of Moon, and Dahlia’s balance zeroed in on a balance of animal. It’s so amazingly fun to find the little quirks. She’s a vegetarian. She’s cries over the death of animals. She gets upset even the party has no choice but to attack the vicious Owlbear.

Why did you create Dahlia the way you did?

Drow are not played very often. I have always liked doing things my own way. Drow are mostly evil elves dwelling underground, and it’s fun to be bad. Dahlia, however, is only half-drow so she follow instincts and makes rash decisions but the humanity in her is ultimately good. The second part of Dahlia was all because of the dice, which happen to perfectly work into her backstory. I rolled exceptionally high for wisdom, constitution, and CHARISMA. Dahlia is all about the charisma, so I’m looking forward to ramping that up as time goes on. Like me, Dahlia is getting her grip on the world around her.

What about her backstory?

She’s still figuring herself out, but Dahlia desires to remain mysterious. She’s got her secrets – so you will just have to watch and see.

What can we take away from Shield Maidens?

Teamwork. It’s something we are still working on, because we all have these insanely great characters. Like any great team, they meet and need to feel each other out, but when put in sticky situations they have to learn to trust each other. This is exactly what we’re doing now. It’s all about striving for balance and putting faith in one another… I’m getting off track. Shield Maidens is important because…friendship? Shield Maidens is important relatively speaking because you can actually relate to at least one of the characters. Our issue with not always having great teamwork is because we’re still individuals with our own set paths. It’s about being yourself while working well with others. It’s about being a woman playing in a safe environment while not making the entire game a feminine propaganda show. At the end of the day, yes, we’re seven woman but we’re not brought together by a gender, we are brought together by a game. In the game we’re brought together by a goal all the while creating these vast personal stories. It’s this thrilling cycle of awesome…that’s a great saying.

Any personal Dungeons and Dragons anecdotes before we go? Or anything you’d like to add?

I was in a store the other day picking up a birthday gift for Jessica (L’eauen) and the cashier asked me what I was making. “A necklace for my D & D friend. D & D is Dung-” She stopped me, I had been expecting her to not know what the hell I was talking about, and she didn’t say a word. Her body however, buzzed with excitement ready to burst.  “I LOVE D&D.” I had found a fan. “I play the game now. Online. With a bunch of guys. But holy shit, that’s so exciting.” As I reached for the bag, I decided to share our show with her. “You can actually watch us on Twitch on Tuesday or all the episodes are on YouTube.” She ripped receipt paper out and handed it to me.


I walked out of the store with pep in my step, knowing, “Yeah, we’re doing something great.”


Shield Maidens Screen Shot

Watch it all from the beginning!