Photo provided by Emma Zuder of secretary Audrey Skinkis representing Dungeons & Dragons Club at the Involvement Fair
Written by: Emma Zuder
(GREENSBURG, Pa.)- The tides for Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) are turning. Avid D&D player, Shane Simpson, compares the roleplaying game’s growing popularity to Marvel’s own steadying growth: “Marvel was really for nerds at the beginning, but now a lot of people like Marvel, even if they weren’t into the comic books. People are starting to see what D&D is actually like, which is different than what they thought.”
The critically acclaimed TV series Stranger Things (2016–; present), the recent movie Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (2023), and web series Critical Role (2015–; present) have also contributed to Dungeons & Dragons’ increasing popularity.
Seton Hill has followed suit with its debut of the Dungeons & Dragons organization at this year’s Involvement Fair.
“SHU’s Dungeons & Dragons Club is focused on the fantasy tabletop roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons. We provide a safe space for students to socialize, form D&D groups, learn more about the game, and overall appreciate it through various events and opportunities” said Taylor Humenay, Dungeons & Dragons club president.
Humenay, who’s been playing D&D for 5 years, was inspired to start a D&D club after last year’s involvement in “She Kills Monsters,” a play about D&D put on by the Student Theatre Activities Council (STAC).
“Something clicked into place as I immersed myself into [the play]” said Humenay. In addition to “She Kills Monsters,” Humenay said “many people would reach out and talk to me about their struggles on starting D&D or finding people to play and were looking for someone to get it all together. It was a need for the community and I didn’t want to wait until it was too late to start this [club].”
Humenay added “with the support of my friends, officers, and a well known shuttle driver named George, we were able to make it possible.”
The officers mentioned above are vice president Shane Simpson, secretary Audrey Skinkis, and treasurer Tess Stiffler.
Both Simpson and Humenay are experienced D&D players and Dungeon Masters (DMs)– players who organize the details of the game for the players; a storyteller and referee rolled in one package.
Simpson said anxiety in D&D is twofold; both players and DMs worry about the experience, but “D&D is one of those things that you have to go for. You can make mistakes and help each other learn.”
Simpson added that the new D&D club is a “great way to meet new people, especially because [D&D] is a group-driven thing.”
The club ultimately hopes to “make D&D accessible for people,” such as new players who don’t know where to start and DMs who would like to consult about their campaigns and ideas.
Additionally, SHU’s Dungeons & Dragons club is planning future events, such as character and backstory workshops, one-shot events, and a sticker sale.
To join in on the Dungeons & Dragons club’s adventures, you can request membership on SHINE. Humenay and Simpson said to watch out for future events via the club’s email, firstname.lastname@example.org.