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Out & About: Dungeons and Dragons draws interest in Hanover

  • Liz Sauchelli. Copyright (c) Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Calendar Editor
Published: 1/8/2020 2:07:17 PM
Modified: 1/8/2020 2:06:42 PM

HANOVER — As Dungeons and Dragons continues its resurgence, a Hanover resident is looking to find players in the Upper Valley who are interested in forming a group to meet regularly at the town’s Howe Library.

Kael Alberghini will host a drop-in open house for people interested in learning more about Dungeons and Dragons from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday at the Howe Library, 13 South St.

Dungeons and Dragons is a role-playing game where players develop characters that have challenges they must face which include solving puzzles or fighting monsters. Dungeons and Dragons provides a framework through books on how to structure stories, but the format is largely left up to the individual players.

“There’s been a really big trend for D&D to reach more people,” he said, adding that YouTube and podcasts about the game have made a difference. “I think that a lot of that comes from the (amount) of accessible D&D actual-play games where people can watch really talented people play D&D, listen to people play D&D.”

“There’s no winning the game, there’s completing the campaign, there’s finishing the story. It’s a little bit closer to reading a novel in terms of how it ends than it is winning a video game or board game,” Alberghini, 24, explained.

Storylines — known as campaigns — are organized based on different books and rules. Campaigns are led by a “Dungeon Master” and may be as short as an afternoon or continue on for months or years. Groups range in size. Alberghini said 4-5 players are manageable, but games with up eight participants can work as well.

“The great thing is that there are a lot of different ways to play D&D,” Alberghini said. “Every single person who plays D&D is going to do it differently.”

At first, Dungeons and Dragons can seem overwhelming. There are many different rules and instructions and the startup costs, which may include purchasing books and dice, may put people off who are on the fence about playing. People are encouraged to at least buy the Player’s Handbook, which has a list price of $49.95 on the official Dungeons and Dragons’ website. If there is enough interest in starting up a group at the Howe, Alberghini would like to work with the library to have copies of the handbook and other D&D texts that patrons could borrow.

The game can be played by adults and children alike. It can be adjusted to accommodate all skill levels.

“I personally believe that rules can be secondary to making sure the game is enjoyable,” Alberghini said. “I personally consider the most important skill to be a willingness to role play and a willingness to make character choices. It really is about that courage to try.”

Alberghini was introduced to the game when he was a child, but became more involved when has 21. He credits that, in part, to YouTube videos and podcasts about the game.

“I really like the opportunity to collaboratively tell a story,” he said. “There’s always going to be an opportunity to be surprised.”

The social aspect also appeals to Alberghini.

“It’s an opportunity for people to play games and socialize in a way that doesn’t feel demanding,” he said. “It gives a structure that makes it feel easier to hang out with people.”

Editor’s note: For more information about the open house, email Alberghini at RPGkael@gmail.com. Liz Sauchelli can be reached at esauchelli@vnews.com or 603-727-3221.

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