Petting zoo animals and D&D?
Hi everyone! I’m Sarah from the Outback Station area, where all of our goats, sheep, and other fuzzy barnyard animals live!
If you’ve been in the … let’s say nerdier sphere of the internet in the last few years, you know that Dungeons & Dragons has made a huge surge into the spotlight. Critical Role, Dimension 20, and more livestreamed games are on par with the latest Netflix series for viewership. Not to mention Stranger Things.
For those who are unfamiliar with the game, when you create a character, you can choose one of 13 classes that determine your skillset. Once you have created that character, you and your pals can embark on an epic journey to save the world!
Down here in Outback Station, D&D is a hot topic of conversation. One day, when the petting zoo was empty and our cleaning was done, one of the seasonal keepers and I decided to figure out what type of character each of our goats and sheep would play in the tabletop role play game. Here’s what we came up with!
Barbarian: Tobias, Alvin, and Olaf
Barbarians are a class built around fighting out your problems. These three absolutely love anything that allows them to put their headbutting skills to the test, be that with each other or with enrichment items.
Bard: Steve, Bucky, and Simon
Bards are THE quintessential “attention hog” class. They thrive on their own charisma – something that I can say for sure Steve and Bucky do! They’re our smallest goats and the ones people tend to gravitate towards, and boy do these little dudes love it. Simon, meanwhile, simply must insert himself into any and every situation – even going so far as to shoulder other goats out of the way so that he may be the one to receive pats from guests!
Druids are shapeshifting nature-lovers, able to “Wild Shape” into any animal form. Hobbes occasionally makes us care team members question if he may not be a person stuck in goat form…
Fighter is a self-explanatory class. They fight. Ferb is one of our goats who is always up for a good play fight with his brother Phineas or with his best friend Wembley. What sets him apart from the Barbarians is that he’s really not big into headbutting enrichment items – he just loves a good battle royale in the yard!
Monk: Phineas and Franklin
Monk is an interesting class. They’re like fighters but … flashier, or more spiritual. Depending on how you play them. Phineas and Franklin each take one of those branches of Monk. Phineas loves a good play fight like Ferb, but is more likely to be doing acrobatic leaps off the rocks and tables in the yard. He’s less brute strength with his headbutts and more stylish. Franklin isn’t a fighter, but certainly has a very zen feel to him. Franklin can frequently be found napping in the corner of the petting zoo or in Quiet Time, simply enjoying the world around him.
Paladin: Theodore and Benson
Paladins are considered by many to be a “goody two-shoes” class. This isn’t entirely accurate; they simply follow a strict moral code. They gain their power from their devotion to a cause. Now of course, goats and sheep don’t necessarily have a moral code or causes they’re devoted to, but Theodore and Benson have the vibes of a couple of Good Boys. For that reason, I think they would be our Paladins!
According to the Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook, rangers are “warriors that combat threats on the edges of civilization.” We don’t have any threats that need to be fought here in Outback Station, but Calvin is a goat who prefers to be on the fringes. He’ll never say no to some scratches, but he’s content to enjoy some alone time munching on hay in the back of the contact yard.
Ahh, Rogues. Well-known in the D&D world for their sleight of hand and love of taking shiny things. Wembley is an accomplished pickpocket down in Outback, and can every so often be spotted cruising the petting zoo, attempting to snatch maps right out of guests’ hands. You wouldn’t expect our tallest goat to be so sneaky, but he really is!
Wizard: Sheldon and Sven
Wizards are a class that is about two things: knowledge and casting spells. They tend to hang at the back of the party, since they aren’t terribly durable. Sven is a sheep who very much values his personal space, usually preferring to socialize with others by relaxing in Quiet Time or in a soft hay bed, rather than headbutting and running around. Sheldon is one of the most enthusiastic about training out of our sheep, enjoying the mental challenge of learning new behaviors. He embodies the academic aspect of the Wizard class!
(photo: Sarah F.)
Keeper II, Ambassador Animals