Ben Simpson is deep in thought during a Dungeons & Dragons session at the Okanagan Regional Library on Friday, Sept. 13. (Cameron Thomson/Salmon Arm Observer)

Salmon Arm Dungeons and Dragons Club on a role

Unanticipated public interest prompts second game day at library

A Salmon Arm-based Dungeons & Dragons club has engaged local enthusiasts with unexpected success.

The Salmon Arm Dungeons & Dragons Club started in early August at the Okanagan Regional Library. The club meets on Fridays at 5 p.m. and, due so much interest displayed by the public, players have been turned away for the past few weeks.

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Thomas Lees and Kelly Stephenson are Dungeon Masters, commonly referred to as DMs. DMs lead the gameplay, guiding their role-playing adventurers through an infinite possibility of quests and battles. Collectively, these adventures are called campaigns, depending on the rules and style of play decided by the DM, campaigns can have a set limit of players. This limit has resulted in an overflow of players which the club is addressing by adding a second day for the club to meet.

Lees has more than 20 years of experience running campaigns, while Stephenson is still honing his skills. In the coming weeks, Lees will run the main campaign which will span multiple sessions, while Stephenson will run smaller adventures that can be completed in a single evening.

Neither Lees nor Stephenson expected the club to be such a hit, but after a D&D dedicated Facebook page was created for the club which was then shared on social media, members started coming immediately and regularly. Some members are experienced, some have not played for 25 years and are picking it up again, while others are new to the game.

Lees says there are a variety of draws to the game, an aura of mystery that surrounds it and its players for one, and an opportunity to socialize for another.

“There are people who literally have massive social anxiety and suddenly they get behind their character and you could never tell,” Lees said. “That’s the joy of D&D – it’s like play-dough. It’s whatever you want it to be.”

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The club’s organizers are thrilled that enough people are interested to make it possible and that there is a space in which to host the sessions.

“The interest from the community has been great and the support from the library has been amazing,” Kelly Stephenson said. “It’s awesome, we were so surprised. We had no idea it was going to take off like this.”

More information about the sessions can be found on the club’s private Facebook page.


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The Salmon Arm Dungeons & Dragons Club will soon meet twice a week to accommodate new players. (Cameron Thomson/Salmon Arm Observer)

Kelly Stephenson, Dungeon Master and founding member of the Salmon Arm Dungeons & Dragons Club, studies the battlefield during a Dungeons & Dragons session at the Okanagan Regional Library on Friday, Sept. 13. (Cameron Thomson/Salmon Arm Observer)

Ben Simpson moves a miniature figurine during a Dungeons & Dragons session at the Okanagan Regional Library on Friday, Sept. 13. (Cameron Thomson/Salmon Arm Observer)

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