New club offers opportunities for students to participate in Dungeons and Dragons

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New club offers opportunities for students to participate in Dungeons and Dragons

Dungeon Master Zane Golden-Zagorski leads a game at the new Dungeons and Dragons club. The club metts Mondays after school in SW206 or S2116.

Dungeon Master Zane Golden-Zagorski leads a game at the new Dungeons and Dragons club. The club metts Mondays after school in SW206 or S2116.

Ellie Rice

Dungeon Master Zane Golden-Zagorski leads a game at the new Dungeons and Dragons club. The club metts Mondays after school in SW206 or S2116.

Ellie Rice

Ellie Rice

Dungeon Master Zane Golden-Zagorski leads a game at the new Dungeons and Dragons club. The club metts Mondays after school in SW206 or S2116.

Ellie Rice, Staff Reporter

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Dice and snacks spread out across a long table in the middle of a classroom, students chattering amongst themselves. The voices begin to die down as the Dungeon Master, Zane Golden-Zagorski, sits at the head of the table. He begins by describing the setting for the game, each round is different and fueled by the imagination and creativity of the players.

Freshman Zander Bell started the new Dungeons and Dragons club earlier this year as a way to get to play his favorite game.

“If there wasn’t one already I was damn well determined to start one,” Bell said.

Encouraged by his family and friends to start playing from a young age, Bell embraced the game and soon became an active player, then later a Dungeon Master.

There are two roles in the game. Often referred to as the DM, the Dungeon Master is “the person who puts hours of work into building this complex fantasy world, and then the players, which I currently am one of, as I relinquish the role of putting effort into [the game], in favor of doing what all players do and generally kind of just ruining all the work that goes into it,” Bell said.

Being a DM is strenuous, because they have to be creative, strategic and intelligent to lead a successful round. Even though he is no longer the club’s DM, Bell knows a lot about the position.

“It’s like having a kid, it’s awful being a DM until that one moment that makes it all feel better,” said Bell.

Students with atypical hobbies are often marginalized at school, but clubs like this provide solace and freedom to students who normally wouldn’t have opportunities to get involved in their passions.

That being said, there are many unwarranted misconceptions about Dungeons and Dragons that debilitate its reputation. Players are often represented in pop culture pejoratively, like in shows such as “Freaks and Geeks” and “Stranger Things.”

“It’s fun, you get to run amuck in a fantasy world…why the hell not?” Bell said.

Contrary to the stereotypes, the diversity of their players and the community is steadily increasing. According to the company behind the game Wizards of the Coast, in 2017 almost 40% of the players were women.

Even some celebrities such as Marilyn Manson, Vin Diesel, James Franco, Wayne Brady and Robin Williams have been known to play. Considering the game’s understated popularity, it’s surprising there was not a club sooner. Dungeons and Dragons has a tight knit community, and there’s nothing like casting a spell and killing a goblin to bring people together.

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