Role-playing game players meet at U for adventure and entertainment

by Brianne Rasmussen

In the late 1960s, Dave Arneson sat in Coffman Memorial Union creating rules for a role playing game his friends could enjoy.
Little did he know that 30 years later, University students, along with groups around the nation, would still be playing his game, Dungeons & Dragons.
The University’s Role Playing Special Interest Group gives these students a venue to participate in games such as Arneson’s classic.
RPSIG holds regular meetings in the St. Paul Student Center where the members participate in role playing games, board games and card games.
The group holds small meetings every three weeks, and larger, more extended meetings every six weeks.
At the larger meetings, the group usually plays two games lasting five hours each with a dinner break in the middle.
Each role playing game starts with a game master, the designated leader of the group, acting as a narrator as he or she describes the scene or situation.
Then, after adopting a fictitious persona, each player verbally responds to what the game master tells them.
After everyone has responded, the game master continues to narrate, using the information provided by the players, and develops the story further.
According to Dannielle Osborne, the president of RPSIG, there were 30 to 40 people at the last large meeting in September.
“People are welcome to come whenever they can and stay as long as they like,” she said, adding that any student can participate.
Osborne, a second-year graduate student studying cognitive psychology, has been a member since 1997.
While many of the participants like to use the Dungeons & Dragons game, the game master often comes up with a more original situation and creates an adventure out of it.
An example from a previous meeting is “Star Wars as directed by John Woo and the Warkowski brothers.”
“Anyone and everyone who likes to play games and have fun is welcome to join,” she said.
Along with the regular meetings, RPSIG hosts a summer camp out where they have interactive role playing.