Playing The Role


In the wake of a resurgence in the popularity of Dungeons and Dragons, students have been enjoying the classic RPG.

Colt Smallwood, Staff Writer

Dungeons and Dragons (D&D), the classic table-top Role Playing Game (RPG), is in the midst of a player renaissance. While Wizards of the Coast, Dungeons and Dragons’ parent company, has not released official numbers, they have said that 2017 was the highest selling year they have ever had. Netflix series “Stranger Things” has had a large impact, with the core of the first season being heavily inspired by D&D. Alongside that, online streaming sites such as Twitch have opened thousands of more eyes to the game.

For those unfamiliar with D&D, here is as close to a brief summary as possible. The game takes a minimum of two players, and on average has around five. The Dungeon Master (DM) runs the show, acting as any character or monster that is not one of the players. They control all of the enemies, prepare the non-player characters, and is everything in the entire game’s world outside of the players. The rest of the players build their characters from a wide selections of races and classes. Races include standard fantasy fare like elves, dwarves, and humans, but also stranger options like goblins, giants, and gnomes. Classes are simpler, with classic options including, but not limited to, wizards, fighters and barbarians. After character creation is done, the actual gameplay begins. Almost all factors in the game, from attacks to noticing you are being followed, is done by chance with dice ranging from four to 20 sides.

D&D has been on the rise in the high school as well, with several students running or playing in games. The appeal of the game is as various as the students here. Jake Atterberg ’19 tells that the crafting of a tale in the game draws him. “You can tell a story with friends and have a good time doing it,” Atterberg said.

The storytelling aspect also appeals to Shea Carnahan ’19. “When I play D&D, it’s like collective storytelling; like a whole new medium,” Carnahan said.

Sam Hiscocks ’19 recognized the impact of the hit Netflix series. “It was on an upswing already, but ‘Stranger Things’ shot it to the moon,” Hiscocks said.