A tight-knit group of students gather weekly to experience a fantastical adventure


Leyton Kelso, 10, Theo Busch,11, and Brandon Castro, 11, play Dungeons and Dragons after school.


The clatter of dice and echoes of triumph emerge from Patrick Smith’s physics room as the Dungeon Dwellers embark on their next adventure.

Creating an interactive story through the power of imagination and miniatures, friends gather around a cluster of tables to journey through the fantastical world of Dungeons and Dragons. The classic tabletop role-playing game is at its core, a storytelling experience. Players guide their heroes through trouble, fight dangerous foes, and collect treasure. 

“It’s a role playing game,” Smith said. “It’s basically like telling an interactive story where one person sets the story and the characters interact with it.”

Weekly after school, the Dungeon Dwellers club meets and picks up their story where they left off. As the smallest club within Rogers High School, the comradery between members makes it “connect one on one,” said junior Brandon Castro.

Current members have been welcomed with open arms and introduced to the game, either through the club’s members or general interest. 

“We are completely open to new people,” Smith said. “As a matter of fact, everyone that plays had to learn somehow. Every year we get one or two people that show up that have never played it, but have heard about it and want to learn more, and so we accommodate for them.”

The past year has been filled with social distancing guidelines in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and the Dungeon Dwellers are no exception. In a traditional setting, Dungeons and Dragons is played with the people participating in close proximity but due to regulations, circumstances have changed. 

“Normally it’s a tabletop game where you’re fairly close to each other, but we have had to space that out. We have also had people who now play remotely versus coming to school for those who are quarantined or on virtual learning,” Smith said.

Created in 1974, the game has built a following of millions and continues to be a staple in tabletop games. In a setting where the only limitation to a player is their imagination and guidance from other players, the opportunities that await intrigue many. 

“What I find most appealing is the fact that we are able to use our imagination. We are basically able to do whatever we want, but it’s up to the dungeon master,” Castro said.