Just a dice roll: the resurgence of Dungeons and Dragons

Sounds of dice rolling onto the table, the shuffling of papers as players frantically search for their character’s abilities, and the cries of players who scored too low in the dice roll surround the small table. In the dining room light, the dungeon master, or DM, can be seen ducking behind his trifold that details all the moves of the fantasy players. Everyone sitting at the wooden dining table zeroes in on their character sheets, crafting their next move to combat the DM.

This is Dungeons and Dragons, and it’s recently been reaching out to a larger audience among many college students since its creation.

Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson were the first to play Dungeons and Dragons as it is now–a fantasy role-playing game with personalized adventures and characters. The game is simply a story that is played out by the characters involving dice rolls to determine the characters’ fate.

This type of role-playing has expanded to NKU and has influenced several of its students. Although there is not a set organization or group on campus, the popularity of the game is ever present within the NKU community.

“It was probably the outlet to be creative and most of the time goofy with my friends and family,” Zach Robinson, NKU sophomore theater and media informatics double major said. “I definitely get into my characters so for me, it can also be an outlet for acting.”

With games like Magic the Gathering and Pokemon growing in popularity at NKU, it’s no wonder that Dungeons and Dragons is also making a comeback. While Magic and Pokemon spawned in the 90s, Dungeons and Dragons dates back to the 70s.

NKU junior CIT major Tanner Coleman recently found himself to be a part of this role-playing game.

“I kind of invited myself to the group in a sense,” Coleman said. “And then we’d play a couple of nights and it was a lot of fun and it kind of went on from there.”

Coleman said the role-playing was the biggest game for him because he isn’t a theater major and he doesn’t act. He also noted that he enjoyed his character development in the game.

“It forced myself to be someone else,” Coleman said. “It adds an element of surprise and intrigue for once.”

Although there are many types of online and video game-based role-playing games, there seems to be a reason why people are drawn to this kind of role playing.

“It’s like playing a video game, but more interactive,” Oren Brannaman Clore, NKU freshman computer science major said. “We get to just about anything we want and it’s always fun when you’re playing with friends.”

The fifth edition of Dungeons and Dragons was released in 2014.

“DND is important to me because it is a way for friends to get together,” Mickey Greelish NKU junior history major said. “It’s different from a regular game or movie in that… it allows for fun and interesting encounters that other video games don’t account for.”