Reported by Melanie Green
Surrounded by empty pop cans and well-used reference books, four players debate about whether or not they can enter the rubble of a fallen city until the dungeon master silences them with a firm “No.”
They are gathered at Players Wanted Games & Collectibles on Victoria Drive near 54th Avenue. The shop supports a local community of Dungeons & Dragons players by hosting weekly open sign-up games for regular enthusiasts and curious newcomers.
Employee and avid D&D player Matteo Smith said the open-world builder game is “no longer a game for nerds and geeks, if you can imagine it, you can do it.”
D&D is becoming more prominent in TV shows
In fact, D&D has become increasingly popular in recent years, featured in the storylines of TV series like Stranger Things, Community and The Big Bang Theory.
Smith’s friend and player, Benson Elphonsa, said he loves the vibrant hub because it is close to his home and he has “met a lot of cool people here and [they] stick together.”
The first Sunday drop-in had 50 people show up, half of them new, according to Smith. He added that the numbers keep growing because of social media and because the recent fifth edition rulebook is simplified.
“Now it’s easier to get into and easier to learn the game,” he said.
Wanted: more dungeons masters
Players Wanted currently has only two dungeon masters, which means D&D games are capped at seven to 10 players on a first-come first-serve basis, said Smith.
Smith said the shop looks forward to being able to host more games in the future, and they are planning to train more dungeon masters.
“It’s cool to see people trying to make characters that they wish they were in real life. I like the idea of being able to create your own story, like the movies, or I guess, to be someone else,” he said.
Listen to Alexandros Katanas’ D&D campaign