Castles, Curses, and Community

(Illustration: Jessie McLaughlin)

More and more people in Lunenburg County are discovering the appeal of spending an evening as an adventuring elf or orc as Dungeons and Dragons experiences a revival.

The tabletop role-playing game, created in the 1970s, has experienced a recent revival. This is partially due to its shift in pop culture from a niche hobby for nerds to a common pastime for all ages.

The pandemic lockdowns also made D&D skyrocket in popularity. Many people missed the simple joy of sitting around a kitchen table, playing a game with friends. 

Tim Dover, a cook for the Coastguard who spends his time on land in Lunenburg, says that he got into D&D during lockdowns.

Like many D&D fans, Dover found his community through Lantzalot Game Store in Blockhouse. 

Dover attended a meet-up for D&D players looking to join new groups. He says there were about 40-50 people at the meet-up. 

There, Dover connected with new friends and started a campaign. Dover attends D&D games with this group every Monday evening when not out at sea.

Lantzalot Game Store is at the center of the Dungeons and Dragons community on the South Shore. The store sells board games, card games, and much more. Most importantly, it sells everything you need to play D&D and hosts games. 

Veronica Goodfellow, an employee at the store, organizes regular sessions for anyone who’s interested in learning how to play the game. She enlists local volunteers to lead the games and teach the rules. 

“I want it to be a place for people who don’t know anybody,” says Goodfellow. 

If someone is intimidated by the idea of showing up to a session alone, she encourages them to “find a friend who is willing to come with you.”

Jeff Mercer, Deputy Chief Librarian of South Shore Libraries, has been playing Dungeons and Dragons for close to four decades. He spearheaded the Dungeons and Dragons programming available at some libraries in the region. 

He acts as Dungeon Master (the person who leads the game) for the Lunenburg Library sessions. Mercer runs an ongoing game for a group of local teenagers. He thinks the game is a way to practice creativity. 

“It’s a good way to flex your creativity and your imagination without a lot of supplies or structure,” he says.

Mercer has ordered Dungeons and Dragons Players Handbooks that will soon be available at South Shore Libraries for those interested in the game.

D&D is an excellent way to be creative and socialize with friends and strangers alike. Goodfellow of Lantzalot Game Store recommends that anyone interested in learning more can listen to podcasts about the game or watch YouTube videos showing gameplay. 
For those who decide they want to take a step further and find a group, there is a large community of players who would love to join you on an adventure!

Any youth who are interested in playing Dungeons and Dragons can call or email the library. Any adults interested in playing the game can contact Lantzalot Game Store by phone or by Facebook messenger.


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