December 5, 2016
Rolled a 20. Critical hit! The boss dragon has been slain by the Atholton Role-Playing Game club, one of the most popular clubs in the school’s recent history.
On Thursdays after school in Room F186, the students that attend are no longer themselves…they turn into their in-game persona, whether it be an Ice Wizard or a Dwarf that is powered by rage. And doing that never ceases to keep the members entertained.
“There are a lot of clubs that are playing in people’s homes and game shops. I’m still role-playing with three students from Atholton, each graduated 10 years ago,” said Mr. Braun, Special Education teacher and sponsor of this club.
Over the past few years, the member count has grown exponentially with over 18 members to date. Another campaign, the terminology used for a playthrough of a game, will be run due to the overwhelming number of student participants. The apex of this club’s popularity was last year, when there were 24 members participating. According to Mr. Braun, there were up to four campaigns occurring simultaneously. However, Mr. Braun lamented that the club involved many seniors last year, slightly lowering the amount of members in the group. He stated there would be three campaigns running soon.
When the club sits down to continue their Dungeons & Dragons campaign, the Dungeon Master, the leader/narrator of the game, resumes play as normal high schoolers transform into their in-game personas. Students obtain their specific dice, pull out their stat sheets, and jump right into whatever dimension they’re playing in.
Since only Atholton and Centennial have a club like this, there definitely are some thoughts about expanding this type of club past this school, whether it be within the school system or outside of it. “There should be a Role-Playing Game club in every high school. Whether it should be centralized is a completely different question, to which I would say ‘no’,” said Freshman Robby Taylor.
“It’s just really fun. We go on really fun adventures and they can get really funny and hilarious.”
The environment of the club is very laid back and never tends to get very serious. Taylor’s favorite part about Role-Playing Game Club is inside jokes. “They’re funny and they don’t make sense,” he added.
When the club started twelve years back, it was just a small group of at most six students with Mr. Braun as the Dungeon Master. Now, Mr. Braun is not the only person that pilots a campaign. A couple of seniors run the alternate campaigns. And this is all because of the students flowing into the school that enjoy playing roles.
Ever since the start of the school year, the club members and Mr. Braun have been playing in the same world. A campaign will take quite a while from start to finish, according to Mr. Braun. “I think last year I did the same setting all year long, which I have never done before,” he said.
In Mr. Braun’s campaign, there were five upperclassmen, including senior Amy Huggins. Huggins said she loved the club because “It’s just really fun. We go on really fun adventures and they can get really funny and hilarious.”
The future of this club looks very bright. The number of members has only increased in the past few years, and there are no signs of stopping this growth.
Can the dragon be slain, or will the whole party fail to succeed in their campaign? It’s all in the role of a 20 sided die…