Most of the people who come to AstroCamp end up playing Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) for the first time. It is also our most popular class, as our campers will try as hard as possible to load up their schedules with the famous role playing game!
D&D is a role playing game. You start up by coming up with a character and deciding what you want them to be like. It could be an elf who really likes chocolate, a dwarf who just wants to prove himself to a human who wants to steal anything shiny, or anything in between. These characters are often a combination of people’s real personalities, and fictional personas they enjoy such as Han Solo, Malcolm Reynolds, Legolas, or Hermione Granger.
The game is run by someone known as the Dungeon Master. They describe the worlds and situations that the players find themselves in. After that, the game plays as a cooperative storytelling challenge crossed with an improv session. No two games go the same way. When a player has their turn, they decide what they want to try to do and roll the dice.
The Dungeon Master then reveals the results of the attempt, the next person takes their turn, and the story continues. Players try to see things from their character’s perspective and react accordingly. This often creates ridiculous, tense, hilarious, or outrageous situations!
The possible scenarios are almost limitless, from engaging in deadly battles with dangerous foes, to heroic rescues, or even political intrigue and moral uncertainty! We often hear stories around camp of characters’ exploits. These range from throwing a bomb into an erupting volcano to trying to tame and ride an angry dragon to escape with its treasure! (Note: Both of these are “real” examples.)
D&D is far from the only role playing opportunity offered at camp. This summer, instructors ran games of Pathfinder, Star Wars: Edge of the Empire, Lasers and Feelings, XD20, GURPS, and more. We even had a camper invent a role playing game where everyone played crazy advanced robots!
These games give campers an exciting way to meet and get to know each other while practicing teamwork and creativity. They also make great learning environments, as players are constantly evaluating the odds and working with probabilities without even realizing it! There are tons of games and rules out there… the only real limit is your imagination.