The Newspaper of McDaniel High School

The Oracle

The Newspaper of McDaniel High School

The Oracle

The Newspaper of McDaniel High School

The Oracle

Dungeons and Dragons club nourishes role-play in, out of school

Eban Slate
Wide shot of the D&D Club space. The club is open for anyone to come and chat about the game.

Imagine yourself in the mystical realm of Eldoria, where ancient prophecies echo through the corridors of time and an unlikely fellowship of adventurers is thrust together by a cryptic force. As they unravel the secrets of a long-forgotten artifact, their destinies become entwined with the fate of the entire realm. With dragons looming on the horizon and dark magic awakening, they must navigate treacherous dungeons, forge unbreakable bonds and discover the true power that lies within each of them. Only those who can master the art of collaboration and courage will emerge victorious in a world where every choice shapes the future and every roll of the dice determines their destiny.

Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) is a role-playing game nearing its 50th anniversary, and since its creation has become the most well-known game in its genre, enjoyed by tens of millions over the years. Unlike similar games of its time, it pioneered custom character creation, allowing more freedom and control by players. It’s a way for people to enter a fantasy world and make their own decisions with only some friends and a set of dice. 

The D&D club is a place for gamers to come together to talk about the game and plan meetings outside of school. At the end of each school week, everyone who’s into the D&D universe comes together to hang out. It’s a vibrant, boisterous community where good times are ever present and everyone is heard. 

Junior Liam Dieffenbach has been a member of the club for two years. He is now one of the leading members of the group and has run a few weekend campaigns—long adventures that range from a few meetings in length to many years long—including an ongoing one. These weekend campaigns are organized through a group chat and during the Friday meetings. 

“I’ve run [the campaign] every Saturday at my house. Now we’re alternating with another player’s campaign,” he said.

Junior Dane Wolff, who has been in the club for one year, is also running a campaign. He says the best part is the characters, particularly their dynamic and how they “are all written so well.”

Dieffenbach said the bond he’s created with other club members is one of the most important and enjoyable elements of playing the game.

“I have played with everyone in this room at one point,” Dieffenbach said. “[T]he way you interact with their characters, it just forms the kind of bond…that can’t be broken. Like marriage but not real.”

Wolff commented on how important finding the club was to him.

Club members (from left) Alex, Dane and Joseph hang out at a Friday club meeting. The meetings are unstructured and chill. (Eban Slate)

“It’s how I met half these people, and I joined the club a month after moving here so I had no friends,” Wolff said.

Student Engagement Coach Glenn LaMotte is the current advisor for the D&D club. This is his fourth year leading the club, while also being an advisor for the Indigenous Alliance and Pasifika Society clubs. He said he’s mostly there to support students, especially new club members, and doesn’t get involved with the game except to provide necessary materials.

“I don’t teach them how to play the game at all, they already know,” LaMotte said of the club’s members. “If [new students] know that the club exists, they would come to me, and then I would direct them to those students.”

LaMotte said his favorite thing about advising the club was the creative talent and imagination from students, as well as developing a friendly relationship with all of them.

I know their names, I know their likes, some of their cool sayings, they know me, they know where my office is at,” he said. 

LaMotte noted how it’s also important to have diversity in the game and the players representing it, as he doesn’t see himself as a stereotypical D&D player. 

I don’t look or talk like somebody who would be involved with D&D,” Lamotte said. “And I think that that’s a really important part of it to break down–some of those stigmatizations involved or that’s associated with the game.”

Looking to the future, Dieffenbach and LaMotte both agree that the focus should be growing the club by advertising it to more students, like at eighth grade promotion or the club fair.

“I think that as more people know the accessibility of the game, then the involvement with the game will definitely grow,” LaMotte said. 

In two years, the student leadership in the club will have to be placed on the current sophomores as many club members are currently upperclassmen. So, the future of the club is in the hands of the younger members.

“It kind of depends on how the current sophomores decide to run things…they’re definitely capable of [being good leaders],” Wolff said.

As for supporting new members, LaMotte emphasized how friendly and accepting the students of the club are. Dieffenbach gave some of his own advice.

It’s a lot of, the more you do it, the more you get used to it,” Dieffenbach said about playing D&D. “And stick into your comfort zone for a good bit, but try some new [character] classes every once in a while.” 

For anyone interested in joining, meetings are held in Room 031—the community partners room—every Friday during lunch.

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About the Contributor
Eban Slate, Copy Editor
Eban Slate (he/him) is a sophomore who enjoys playing ultimate frisbee, running, playing piano and shooting photos. He joined The Oracle to write and photograph interesting stories for readers to be inspired by.

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