Welcome to the dungeon

Anywhere from 20-30 club members attend every Wednesday in the unappreciated planetarium to journey on a Dungeons & Dragons quest.

Photo courtesy of Nate Austin

Anywhere from 20-30 club members attend every Wednesday in the unappreciated planetarium to journey on a Dungeons & Dragons quest.

Dungeons and Dragons: a game commonly known as being nerdy, complicated and tedious. But for D&D Club members, the game opens up a world of possibilities, determined by dice, and won by luck. 

Dungeons and Dragons is a popular role-playing game, where what a player wants to do is accomplished by numerous different dice. There are usually no boards or pieces used in the game, unless desired, and the game takes place in the minds of the players. The most common die is the d20 (20 sided). Roll low, the player can’t do what they want to. Roll high, the player will be one step closer to accomplishing their goal. But there’s more to this game than just rolling dice and killing dragons. There is a community that is formed during the game, and who a person is in the real world falls away, as they are replaced by a character built from their own imagination.

“Well, I like that anyone from any walk of life is just able to come around. We can all go around a table and just unify over this one board game,” explains freshman club member Cuinn Castellano. 

In a club that revolves around inclusivity and being welcoming to new people, members find it as a way to sit back and just relax, and let their imaginations run free. People of all different backgrounds are able to join in and express themselves freely, without judgement from others. 

“I think everything is quite flexible,” freshman Hailey Nowak states, “If a female wants to play a male, or a male wants to play a female, everyone’s pretty open to it. No one is saying you can’t do that.”

Though the game is known for freedom of expression and letting go of social norms, just how inclusive is the club itself? 

According to Nick Lynn, geosystems teacher and club sponsor, “I try to make sure that it is as welcoming and as safe of an environment as possible for all students. Generally, that’s just reminding students that we are kind to each other and we’re accepting and so far, just those reminders have done it.” 

People build their characters on traits that are different from themselves. The beauty of D&D is the ability to escape, to travel to a world so different from the one you live in, to see things, very literally, from new eyes. Part of the way to do that is to be someone that’s not you, and building a character that is different from you is an aspect of the game that people love.

“It’s actually very fun and entertaining because you get to experiment with the character’s emotions and their personality,” explains Nowak.

There are an infinite amount of possibilities of what to choose and players have the ability to let their imaginations run free when engaged in gameplay. There is no limit to creativity within this club and as long as everyone gets along for the mutual benefit of having a good time, anything is possible. 

“It is probably one of the most well established and most accessible games ever,” said sophomore Benjamin Lillard. 

A club that stands behind the game of chance and fate, has a place for everybody; Where humans can become elves, fish, dragonborn or anything. D&D is a place for anybody to get away from the real world and become immersed in a fantastical one. Ad astra. To the stars.