At a meeting for the Dungeons & Dragons club, members exchanged witty banter while waiting for the next person to roll the die. The movement of the goblins, wizards, orcs and warriors that make up the game relies on a set of polyhedral dice that each player must roll at the beginning of a turn. The die rolled, clattering around the gridded game board until it finally came to a halt. It was a “1.” Jasper Lee — the die roller — had already fallen behind in the game; rolling a “1” was a huge disappointment. He moved his character a space and rolled the die again. Another “1.” The room erupted into laughter.
This type of friendly joking is typical of the Dungeons & Dragons club, which meets in room 304 every Thursday after school. The club welcomes players both new and old, and has a simple objective: to play Dungeons & Dragons as much as possible. The game, often abbreviated “D&D,” is a fantasy role-playing game — or RPG — played on a grid-like board with an assortment of dice and figurines.
The club’s website says, “Dungeons and Dragons is an adventure, an exciting role playing game, one where you’re in control of your hero’s destiny. Everything is as you create it to be.”
“It’s probably the nerdiest thing in the universe,” said club member Julien Farbarik. “We’re all just here to have fun.”
Indeed, the game requires a fair bit of concentration to keep up with. Player characters (PCs) make their ways across a board filled with deadly monsters and traps, making extensive use of magic, physical combat and social interactions along the way. Each PC’s individual ability score determines how well he will react to these challenges. If a PC takes too much physical damage and his hit points (HP) run out, the character dies.
The rulebooks for D&D can be quite intimidating. At one of the meetings, Maddy Heisler, while pointing to a massive hardcover book, said, “That’s one of three, and we only have one.” However, the game itself is actually remarkably easy to play, requiring only a rulebook, a character sheet for each player, and a set of polyhedral dice.
The D&D club prefers to keep it simple; club member Ben “Dr. M” Miller said that they bend the rules quite a bit, preferring to have fun rather than play by the books. Indeed, the club’s atmosphere is laid back and fun, with players keeping up a steady stream of jokes while others take their turns.
“It’s just an excuse to have fun with friends,” said Cameron Richey.
Since its inception in January, the club has gained a devoted following of D&D enthusiasts. The games have a fair amount of structure, but ultimately the club exists so its members can share a common interest and have fun together.
“It’s just as nerdy as people think it is, but a lot more fun,” said Miller.
The club is hosted by social studies teacher Jason Marlis and meets in room 304 every Thursday after school. Anyone interested can visit the club’s website (http://cv-dungeons-and-dragons.webs.com/) or Facebook group for updates.