Freshmen start Dungeons and Dragons club as popularity rises

Nabila Wilson

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Freshman Dungeons and Dragons club officers line up (from left): Andrei Perepelitsa, Alex Lin, Kevin Li, Alex Tang, and Selim Guven. Vice president Alex Lin said he first played D&D in sixth grade and that the game is a lot of fun, especially when you gain experience.

The classroom buzzed with energy as over 30 students gathered on Nov. 17 for the first-ever Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) club meeting.

“It was crazy,” freshman and service officer Andrei Perepelitsa said. “The officers are all freshmen, so we didn’t expect that many people to come. We were definitely surprised when it seemed like half of the school showed up, but I’m happy they did.”

At the meeting, the officers presented the basics of the game and talked about their future plans.

“D&D is a storytelling roleplaying game where you can basically be and do whatever you want. Over the next few meetings, we want to create groups through the club so then they can run their own campaigns,” freshman and D&D club president Alexander Tang said.

Largely popularized in today’s mainstream culture from the thriller show Stranger Things, Tang said he originally thought of the club after playing it at a Boy Scouts camp over the summer.

“When I got home, I decided I wanted to keep playing and introduce this really fun game to Bellaire students,” Tang said. “I knew that my friend Alex Lin was good at D&D and starting things, so I asked him to help me. We registered the club at the beginning of the year, and it recently got approved.”

There are various books that can help play the game, including the “Player’s Handbook” (pictured) which outlines the basics of the game. According to USA Today, Dungeons and Dragons originally gained popularity in the 1980s but has since made a comeback ever since the fifth edition playing manual came out in 2014 which made the game easier to play. (Photo provided by Alexander Lin)

D&D club Vice President and freshman Alex Lin said he became interested in the game over quarantine, and he isn’t the only one: Dungeons and Dragons sales went up 33% in 2020.

“During lockdown, I did a campaign with just my brother and sister because we weren’t really allowed outside,” Lin said. “It ended up really bringing us together. It’s cool because you get to be whatever you want and escape from reality, even if just for a few moments. That was really important to us, especially during quarantine when the world seemed like it was falling apart.”

Perepelitsa said the most important thing to remember about the game is to have an open mind.

“Especially with the club games, there may be people that you don’t know in your group, so you have to be comfortable with that,” FerreraMejia said. “Being shy makes it a lot less fun.”

The club is open to new and old members alike.

“I’ve only played twice before,” club secretary and freshman Selim Guven said. “My biggest tip would definitely be to have fun creating your character. My first character was human and I tried to make him super realistic. The campaign was still fun, but everyone else had more interesting characters. You can literally be anything you want, including something magical like an elf, so take full advantage.”

Tang said the D&D club stands out because members can meet lots of like-minded people.

“The game really lets you get to know people. It’s so important in high school to connect with people, especially when a lot of us don’t know each other because of online school,” Tang said. “Beyond just having fun, that’s what I really want the club to accomplish.”

For more information on the D&D club, join their Remind by texting @bhsdnd1 to 81010 or join their Discord server.