Students take on new roles in Game Club


Zoe Allison

“Dungeons and Dragons is a tabletop game where a lot of the visualization comes from using mini figures and representation,” Clay Parker said about how the members work during meetings.

Kelsey Carroll, Staff Reporter

“Five, of course,” a player exclaims after the 20-sided dice clatters to a stop atop the large canvas map covering the desks. The Dungeons and Dragons Player’s Handbook sits open, surrounded by students, while others act out attacks they are trying to play. They argue over what spell card to cast and eagerly try to educate new players. Although it may not look like much to a passerby, a fantasy world is in the process of coming alive for members of the Games Club.

“Basically it started as a board games club where people played board games at. This year I came in with a couple of friends who were interested in playing Dungeons and Dragons,” junior Clay Parker said. “[Physics teacher and club sponsor Bryce Sawyers] was very supportive and he helped us out. We got some other kids who were interested in playing, who probably wouldn’t have had a place to play had Mr. Sawyers not helped us.”

Games Club’s Tuesday afternoon meetings in Sawyers’ room currently revolve around planning out “character sheets” and campaigns for role-playing games Dungeons and Dragons and Pathfinder, as well as a number of other board or role-playing games such as Descent, Talisman, Munchkin, Rails, and Settlers of Catan.

“Basically, [in Pathfinder], you create a character to live in a fantasy world, and you fulfill their adventures,” member and junior John Reaves said.

Attendance averages around seven people per week with a new group of people playing each week, Sawyers said. The club has remained a small group because, as Reaves said, it is difficult to do role-playing games with a large number of people. The group is also small because of the uniqueness of the hobby.

“[Role-playing is] complicated,” member and senior Tyler Gassman said. “It takes a certain kind of person to appreciate.”

Parker got involved in role-playing and the Games Club after watching a Youtube series and searching online.

“Now, just being a nerd is kind of going mainstream,” Parker said. “I found a YouTube series called ‘Critical Roll,’ which is a bunch of voice actors playing Dungeons and Dragons. They livestream, and tens of thousands of people watch it. I got the rules online and just started playing with some of my friends.”

For junior Isaac Wingard, meetings are simply a way to take a break.

“I enjoy the games that we play very much,” Wingard said. “It’s relaxing in the middle of the week.”

The Games Club is a way for students to connect more to whatever they’re playing, Parker said.

“I think it’s a lot more personal because when you play any video game or something, it’s usually a character that a company has built for you to play,” Parker said. “For this, any of the players that play in the campaign [have] actually done everything to make their character. They’ve decided what they’re good at, whether they’re good at fighting or doing magic or doing parkour. Their creativity is their limit.”