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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

“Dungeons and Dragons” coming to campus

Dark Tower Games will bring the fictional world of Armea to students at Western on Feb. 22

Staged photo of Dungeons and Dragons materials. // Photo illustration by Andrew Montgomery.

By Andrew Montgomery

Dark Tower Games, a local game store in downtown Bellingham, will be holding their sixth world event in their ongoing “Dungeons & Dragons” campaign, “World Event 6: Children of the Gods,” from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Feb. 22 in Western’s Viking Union.

The world event is one in a series of large events that take place in Armea, the continuing game world that Dark Tower Games uses for its “D&D” setting. While it will not be a continuance of the plot of games currently taking place at the store, the plot will reflect the choices made in the previous world events, according to the store’s website.

The world event will take place in rooms 565 A, B and C in the Viking Union, Chris Pressley, the community outreach coordinator for Dark Tower Games, said. The event costs $45 and people can sign up in the store or by visiting the store’s Discord server.

For the first time, the world event will include tables where lower-level characters can play, Pressley said. A new player can join the event and the store has premade characters to give out to anyone who wants to play.

Jacob Polley, a “D&D” player who frequently plays at Dark Tower Games and plans to attend the world event, said he was glad to be using the facilities at Western and he is excited to be a part of this event. Polley said he has been playing “D&D” for years; the idea of pretending to be a magic user in a high fantasy environment is what got him into it in the first place.

“With creativity at your fingertips, being able to create literally any kind of character you want, why wouldn’t you be interested?” Polley said.

Harley Fernandez, another “D&D” player, said they were going to play at the event as well. At previous events, the dungeon masters have stopped the game and put on little skits during big story moments, said Fernandez. The dungeon masters narrate the story, give descriptions of scenes, make judgements on the rules and run the game.

“If [world event six] is anything like the previous events, it can only get better from here on out,” Fernandez said.

Recently, the “D&D” community in Bellingham has experienced a lot of growth.

Dark Tower Games was required to use a different venue outside their store for the fourth world event because the player base had grown so much that they needed more space, Fernandez said.

Some of the growth can be attributed to the introduction of “D&D Fifth Edition,” which has made the game more accessible to new players, said Pressley. The release of the Netflix series “Stranger Things” has contributed to the increased interest in “D&D” as well. Dark Tower Games hosted a “Stranger Things” themed event at the store in response, Pressley said.

“We started our ‘D&D’ program approximately two years ago with about six players, one weekly session and one [dungeon master],” Pressley said. “We now have 240 plus members on our Discord server, 20 weekly sessions and 12 professional DMs on our team.”

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