Monthly D&D games at library draw crowd of fantasy lovers

By Sarah Brown

Lebanon Local

Adventurers and wannabe heroes are descending upon Lebanon Public Library once each month to try their hand at the game Dungeons and Dragons.

The Lebanon High School board game club hosted a beginner’s workshop on the game in August, and the library took over from there, allowing as many as 21 players to register for the monthly games.

The response has been great, said Emma Fish, a library assistant who leads the program. The sign-up sheets fill up, and the staff has had to turn some people away.

“Because of the way that the game is structured, we do have to limit our spaces so that people can have a good play experience,” Fish said.

Chris Monroy-Carson prepares his character sheet.

She describes D&D as a cooperative storytelling game wherein one player tells an adventure story, and the other players work together to act as characters in the story. Their choices and dice rolls determine how successful the team is and how the story moves along.

All levels of experience are welcome at the library games. They play the fifth edition of Dungeons and Dragons and everything participants need to play is provided, though they are free to bring a player’s manual, dice, or a favorite Level 1 character.

“As a big fan of fantasy books, I love the idea of stepping into the story and getting to play along,” Fish said. “Seeing the world come alive around you as you work together with your friends is a little bit of magic.”

Devan C. leads a game of his own while Fish leads a beginner’s table. Though story lines

CHARACTER PLAYERS listen to Kevin Langley, left, as they prepare to play a
round of D&D at the Lebanon Public Library.

can be purchased, he usually makes up his own.

“Some people run what’s called a ‘home brew campaign,’” he said. “They make it themselves and tell the story based off whatever they want to tell. I personally like being able to tell my own stories about different things, just in life, through the game.”

At the beginning of her adventure, about the Red Briar Misfits, Fish leads her characters through town so they have an opportunity to buy weapons, food and other necessities.

As they enter the blacksmith shop, one of the players gets into his character and demands to know if the blacksmith is a vampire. Fish, not fazed by his outburst, answers him curtly.

People like to play in different ways and for different reasons, Fish said.

“Some people get very emotive about it,” she said.

Some enjoy the social aspect, others like diving into the statistics and rules, and some play because they love to tell stories and bring characters to life, she said.

“It’s a lot about being a part of a community, both at the game table and in the larger sense of 45 years’ worth of people who have enjoyed the game together.”

If people stay interested in playing D&D, Fish said the library hopes to expand its offerings in the coming year. For now, the last game will be held Saturday, Nov. 9, from noon to 3 p.m. Participants do not have to have a library card.

For more information, call (541) 258-4926.