Modern technology is amazing, I cannot extoll the virtues of video chat more when it comes to making you feel connected with other people. Aside from Dustin, with whom I used to work, I have only met the other members of Team Torta in person once each. But seeing them every week on my roll20 screen has enabled me to get to know them in spite of our vast (now even vaster now that I’ve moved to Maryland) geographical distance. Angel, Jess, Kay and Dustin are some of the best people I know, and I’m excited that this show means I get to see and play with them every week. I also enjoy knowing that Kay and Angel are currently rolling their eyes at my lack of Oxford comma in the previous sentence. Fight me. Also, I love you and here’s why.
I had heard stories and seen pictures of Angel for years before I met him, which sounds creepy actually now that I write it, but I swear it was on the up-and-up – Dustin’s known him for years and was showing me pictures of a mutual friend’s wedding where they were both groomsmen. When we got together for the first time about 3 years ago to begin a game of Dungeon World I was very excited to meet Angel because Dustin thought the world of him, as both a person and a tabletop gamer. Turns out, he’s even cooler than Dustin let on.
Let’s start with the painfully obvious. Angel is an excellent roleplayer! He always comes up with characters that are quirky and fun to play with but also feels a little more well rounded than your average tabletop RPG PC. He’s so much fun to do scenes with! I also think that he has the freshest ideas – he almost never relies on D&D tropes to make his characters, they always have a backstory that is moving and surprising and entertaining.
Playful, warm and kind are all words that I would use to describe Angel but the best part is I could also use practical, sarcastic and witty and that would be just as accurate. The rest of the group can be pretty loud and take up a lot of space, but it’s ALWAYS Angel who will sneak in the one-liner that really makes us a damn mess for five minutes afterward. Angel doesn’t like to sweat the small stuff and is usually the first in line to offer a little perspective on a situation that has the rest of us in a snit.
Angel loves his family and will literally drop everything if his mother is at the door. Naturally, as four white people (as Angel delights in pointing out) this surprises us, and we get thoroughly mocked about how standoffish and strange we can be about our families. In all seriousness though, I really admire how much he prioritizes his family and it sometimes inspires me to take my own mother’s calls more often.
Angel, playing with you is truly a pleasure. I look forward to continuing to bond over tabletop games, Jim Butcher novels (it’s us against the world apparently my dude) and Bioware video games.
Angel Espinoza April 25, 2019
Years before the podcast, these kids were truly living the “story first, math second” life. I learned more from these young #worldstravelers in one Christmas break than a whole year […]