Dungeons and Dragons club critical hit with students

The Dungeon Master looks across the table at the adventurers and begins to establish the fantastical setting of the story about to take place, full of quests, combat, and friendship. This is what happens every Thursday after school in the Dungeons and Dragons club in room 6160 until 5:30.

“I love playing D&D,” senior Marcus Waskom said. “It’s been a hobby of mine for a couple of years, but getting to play it with my classmates and friends in school makes it really convenient to organize and play games.”

Rebecca Dominy, the club’s sponsor, is glad that she is able to provide a place for kids to come play the game.

“I had several students, including my daughter, come to me because they were interested in starting a Dungeons and Dragons club,” Dominy said. “I actually don’t know a lot about running a campaign and have only played the game once, but if there is enough interest in doing something like this, I want to make sure kids have a safe place to make new friends and have fun. Several teachers helped get the club started by working with students in small groups, and it has evolved to being 100% student run.”

So far the students running the meetings have done well; the club has been successful and continues to grow and evolve.

“For a normal day in the club, we have 3 or 4 campaigns running,” Marcus said. “If you are new, you have an option to make a character and join in or bring your friends and do a one-shot of your own. At the moment we have several campaigns that are meant to last until the end of this school year.”

Marcus enjoys getting to spend time with his friends in the club while using his imagination as a player.

“I enjoy D&D because I think it is a really free, creative outlet in which you can participate,” Marcus said. “It is sort of like theater; I like to make art about D&D, I like to have fun, and I like to pretend. I get to do all of that with people I enjoy hanging out with.”

Dominy said that the game is often misunderstood, whether it is because people think there is something dark and sinister about the game or because they think it is a game meant for nerds.

“Growing up in the 80’s, there was a lot of negativity toward the game,” Dominy said. “I was a little young when it was at its peak of popularity, but I remember a lot of the stigma and misunderstanding dealing with the game. A lot of people still don’t really understand what D&D is. Though the Netflix series Stranger Things helped bring it back into the mainstream, many people still view it as nerdy and weird. The reality is it is a great exercise in imagination, storytelling, and teamwork.”

Freshman William Gutierrez appreciates the creative and cooperative nature of the game.

“I enjoy D&D because it’s fun making a world,” William said. “You make a world and hope that the people can actually find what the world’s about without blowing each other up.”

Marcus has enjoyed meeting new people and developing friendships through the club.

“My favorite part of the club is my group being able to meet consistently and seeing so many familiar faces all excited to play,” Marcus said. “We can just jump right into it, and it feels like I’m just hanging out with old friends.”

Marcus has high hopes for the future of the club; he is excited to see it continue to grow and evolve as more kids join.

“As a senior, I’m really sad that I won’t get to see this club grow,” Marcus said. “But as a member who has helped set up what it is going to be like and gotten resources and such, I’m really excited for this to be a community for people to come in as freshmen or sophomores and have awesome several year-long adventures with their friends. I think this club can be a really great opportunity to connect.”

William encourages students to join the club and see if it is something they enjoy before passing judgment on it.

“I hope to see more people try out D&D,” William said. “It might not be your ‘thing’, but you should just try it out anyway and see if you like it or not because it’s not the most expensive hobby to get into. You just need to get a set of dice, but you don’t even need to get a set, you just need to download an app so that you and your friends can try it out.”

Marcus hopes students give D&D a chance and see what they can bring to the table through the opened-ended game.

“Show up,” Marcus said. “Like for real. All you need is an open mind and a willingness to have fun.”