Roll for initiative: The Dungeons and Dragons club brings fantasy to life at NHS

The Dungeons and Dragons club brings fantasy to life at NHS


Photo by An

Juniors Alexander Knuckles and Thadeus Shipley are two of the founders NHS’s Dungeons and Dragons club, reintroducing the club in 2018, the team of students was excited to bring the tabletop game to NHS.

Analyce Craft, Staff Writer

The lights of a small tavern flicker against the darkened night sky, bustling with folks of all shapes and sizes. As a tall elf woman refills the drinks at a particularly rowdy table, a stout dwarven man begins an argument with a buff orc that quickly escalates as another tavern worker confiscates the dwarf’s hammer and the orc’s drink. The orc heaves a sigh and quickly pays the elven women a few silver coins before making his way to the outside of the tavern.

Members of the Dungeons and Dragons club at Noblesville High School are not unfamiliar with settings such as these. A game focused on dice rolling and some serious commitment to imagination, Dungeons and Dragons—or D&D for short—is full of players dedicated to their craft.

“There were two sophomores last year who approached me and asked me if I wanted to help them start [Dungeons and Dragons club],” NHS teacher and sponsor Kimberly Robertson said. “There used to be a D&D club a few years ago and then the sponsor who was running it left to go to another school so the club kind of fizzled out.”

For the students leading the club, bringing the tabletop game to NHS meant more than just dice and character sheets.

“We started the club because we wanted to share D&D and find people who we connect with just to have some fun and relax after the school day kind of ends,” junior Alexander Knuckles said.

For experienced players, the fantasy world doesn’t just cut off at the end of the day. 

“I started back around fourth or fifth grade,” Knuckles said. “My dad wanted to spend some time with me and my brother and decided to pull out one of his old Dungeons and Dragons modules called ‘Minds of Phandelver’.”

For seasoned players, Dungeons and Dragons is like a second home. For incoming players, this is their first opportunity to play the game that they’ve always been curious about. 

“My dad used to play Dungeons and Dragons and I found it in our basement, I read the books and I really wanted to play,” freshman Leo Metz said. “And then I found this club and I was like, oh, wow! Now I can finally play with people.”

With the addition of new adventurers finding interest in the club, upperclassmen are left to adjust to the fresh faces.

“Sometimes you’ll have a fun experience, sometimes it’ll be catastrophic,” Knuckles said. “But, sometimes you’ll have the guy that walks up in your group and is like ‘Hey, I’m gonna stab the dragon for you!’ And he proceeds to get absolutely destroyed by the dragon.”

Whether or not you’re experienced enough to know not to rush head first into a dragon, all players agree that starting their own exploration in this fantasy world has  brought them out of their shell.

“We have a lot of really quiet people who, when they start getting into these role-playing games, they don’t have to be themselves anymore, they can be their character,” Robertson said. “They just really open up and we’ve seen a lot of people make a lot of friends that they didn’t have as many before.”

Founders of the club wanted to see precisely this kind of effect by bringing the game to NHS.

“D&D’s a fun game and it’s a very social game. With society today, a lot of people want to be by themselves and this is a way to bring those people in,” junior Thadeus Shipley said. “So that’s what I wanted to see—people working together and having fun.”