‘Learn to Play D&D’ caters to beginners and experts

Chinook Student Center assistant encourages people to play, watch game

Matthew+Atwell%2C+assistant+director+at+Chinook+Facility+Services%2C+shares+his+experience+on+how+he+grew+up+playing+D%26D+on+Monday+afternoon+at+the+Chinook.
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‘Learn to Play D&D’ caters to beginners and experts

Matthew Atwell, assistant director at Chinook Facility Services, shares his experience on how he grew up playing D&D on Monday afternoon at the Chinook.

Matthew Atwell, assistant director at Chinook Facility Services, shares his experience on how he grew up playing D&D on Monday afternoon at the Chinook.

ARIELLE ARGEL

Matthew Atwell, assistant director at Chinook Facility Services, shares his experience on how he grew up playing D&D on Monday afternoon at the Chinook.

ARIELLE ARGEL

ARIELLE ARGEL

Matthew Atwell, assistant director at Chinook Facility Services, shares his experience on how he grew up playing D&D on Monday afternoon at the Chinook.

CAROLYN CLAREY, Evergreen reporter

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Once a month, students can come together to learn how to play Dungeons & Dragons with Chinook Assistant Director Matthew Atwell. He is the sole director, organizer, and teacher for the Learn to Play D&D event. Atwell started the event because he thought other people wanted to learn how. It’s a steep learning curve by yourself so having someone to teach you makes it easier, Atwell said.

Atwell starts off the meeting by going over general rules, likeability checks and gameplay, for about a half-hour and starts the group off with a one-shot campaign for the next hour and a half. A one-shot campaign is a storyline that is only meant for a single D&D session. Anything longer is called a campaign.

Players go through the motions of the game and learn how to play the basics. The only thing besides the storyline that is setup pre-session are the characters.

“We don’t do character generation because that can take days depending on the character or person,” Atwell said.

While the program welcomes everyone equally, they do cap the player limit at six.

“Dungeons & Dragons is a game that is best played with three to five players,” Atwell said, “anything more than five players is almost a different game. It doesn’t really set itself up well with just one Dungeon Master.”

So while the overall goal of the program is to teach people how to play, Atwell wants to make it more than that. He thinks that this is a great platform to help people reconnect outside of a screen.

“It’s a springboard to get people playing games with real people around a table,” Atwell said. “[My hope] is that we put down our phones for a second and we get out from behind a keyboard and actually interact with people.”

Atwell got into D&D when he was a child. He wanted to play with his brother and friends and he continued with it through high school. Atwell took a step back from the game once he went to college but got back into it when his own kids wanted to start playing. This eventually led him to start the Learn to Play D&D program at the Chinook.

The program started last January and meets once a month. This month they are meeting 6-9 p.m. on Wednesday, in Chinook Room 25. While the player slots may be full, Atwell encourages those wanting to learn to come and watch.