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D&D: the Next Generation


Meet David Kopelev. This sharp kid DMed four adventures for the D&D Adventurers League at Gamex 2015 (Los Angeles, CA) over Memorial Day weekend. He runs a home game with his family and regularly DMs at game days throughout the Los Angeles area. David is a straight A student, an avid reader, and is trained in Brazilian Jiu Jutsu. He is also an actor who has been in several short films and is currently training with Los Angeles improv troupe, the Groundlings.

I had the pleasure of having him as a player at one of the tables I ran on the first day of the con, where I learned that he was DMing almost as much as most of the veteran DMs at Gamex! So, I caught up with him after the con ended to interview him about his experience at Gamex and about DMing in general.

Jay Africa: First of all, how old are you? And when did you start playing D&D?

David Kopelev: I am 12 and I started playing in September 2014 at PAX [Ed.: Penny Arcade Expo] in Seattle.

JA: What adventures did you run at Gamex 2015?

DK: Mayhem in the Earthspur Mines, City of Danger, Foulness Beneath Mulmaster, and Bounty in the Bog.

JA: Very cool! Did you enjoy running one of the premier tables of Foulness Beneath Mulmaster?

DK: Yes, it was my favorite one in all of Gamex 2015.

JA: Was there a particularly epic or memorable moment during any of your adventures at

DK: One rogue dealt almost 30 damage in 1 hit! It was the most I’ve ever seen.

DMing DMing

JA: So what is it about DMing that you enjoy?

DK: I like controlling the game and my word being law.

JA: What’s the most challenging thing about being a DM?

DK: You have to keep track of a lot of stuff at the same time.

JA: Lastly, what’s one piece of advice you would give an inexperienced DM to help them DM better?

DK: To be very familiar with the rules, and sometimes players undermine the DM and to just say “No, I’m the DM and this is my ruling.”

JA: Cool. Thanks so much for DMing all of your tables at Gamex 2015, David! And thanks,
especially, for playing at the Flames of Kythorn table I ran. I look forward to the next time we get to share a table.

DK: Me too!


Jay Africa
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Author: Jay Africa

Hi, all! I'm the D&D Adventurers League US Far West Regional Coordinator, RPG/tabletop gaming enthusiast, graphic designer, designer for the stage, and sometimes musician. I'm always looking for new games to join and new projects to tackle.

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