Let’s Roll the Dice


Deliliah Neff

George Villanueva sits at the head of the table, giving a recap to the players from the last meeting

Deliliah Neff, Staff Writer

Whether one chooses to be a thief, a wizard, save the damsel in distress or fight the monstrous orc, there is something for all fantasy enthusiasts in the Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) club. While the club isn’t necessarily new, the new sponsor, George Villanueva, is looking forward to his new Dungeon Master-ly duties.
“This is my first year sponsoring,” Villanueva said. “At the end of the year last year, some students approached me and said, ‘Hey, our current adviser is leaving the district, would you be interested in hosting the club?’ I had told them maybe and I would think about it over the summer. As the school year approached, I noticed that my schedule would allow it. I got excited about it and I said that I could do it.”
Whether it’s someone’s first time or their 100th time playing, the D&D club welcomes all experienced or inexperienced players. Junior Katherine Jelinek has been playing for half a decade.
“I’ve been playing Dungeons and Dragons for about five years or so,” Jelinek said. “Through the club, I have also started playing ‘Magic: The Gathering,’ which has been really fun. I love making new friends who know how to play those nerdy games.”
Unlike many other tabletop games, there is no planned direction for how a game of D&D can be maneuvered. Junior Lily Birdwell plays an unusual character in the game.
“In the game [I play as] a 4-year-old child,” Birdwell said. “I had to leave early one day, and when I came back, Mr. [Villanueva] told me that no one specifically grabbed the child so I had … a 50-foot rope attached to me. It was so funny — they were essentially just dragging me through this maze the whole time.”
Although this club has become increasingly more popular, many don’t understand the game or what it’s about.
“It’s essentially a fantasy, roleplaying game, similar to a ‘Game of Thrones’ or ‘Lord of the Rings’ genre,” Villanueva said. “There’s monsters, magic and dragons. You get to create a character that you want to play. You could be a wizard, or a fighter or even a thief. You can add personality to your character. It’s an incredibly complicated game. It takes a lot of skill to play it well. Math, critical thinking, reading comprehension and problem solving are all skills that we use every single time we play. It’s a never-ending game.”
As with every tabletop game, D&D can get intense with battles and monsters.
“The games don’t get heated in the way that people would think,” Birdwell said. “It gets heated in a way where you have three of your players down with two people left and 50 orcs standing in front of you. You and your teammates have to strategically plan your next move and essentially find a loophole in the rules [to win the battle].”
Not only does the D&D club have D&D games. They also have other fantasy roleplaying games.
“[The club also has] ‘Magic: The Gathering,’” Jelinek said. “[It’s] really time consuming and really confusing–even more time consuming than D&D. It has very similar aspects to D&D, with the fantasy stuff, but it’s more action-based and less storytelling. There’s different classes and different types of magic.”
Whatever one’s interests may be, D&D is a club that is universal, welcoming all to their fantasy tabletop adventures.
“This is a game for everybody,” Villanueva said. “There [have been] a lot of stereotypes around it throughout the years. We run a clean, student-friendly environment. We have a ton of fun. Anybody and everybody is welcome.”