Roll with the punches at DMACC’s newest gaming club

Evan Davis, president of The Tabletop Collective, showing the dice players use during gameplay.

The newest DMACC club, The Tabletop Collective, held its first gaming session on Feb. 8 following a week of preparations and character creation.
Before the game began, Evan Davis, president of the club and Game Master of the campaign, addressed the group: “Alright everybody, I’m going to get something to drink then I’m going to kill you all.”
Although it’s only the characters’ lives at risk, it stings to lose one, given the time and effort invested in their creation.
The Tabletop Collective plays RPGs such as Dungeons and Dragons and Shadowrun which take players on quests through immersive storytelling often set in worlds of fantasy or science fiction.
“The point of playing RPGs is to be somebody you can’t,” Davis said.
This is Davis’ first time running a Shadowrun campaign, and he has two fellow officers who help run campaigns and the club: Vice President Cale Edgington and Officer Brett Mulder.
According to Davis, “The barebones requirement [for an RPG] are a world, a character system and a success system.” He said a dice system is most common for determining success and failure in a tabletop RPG.
Six players are participating in the current Shadowrun campaign and more are interested in joining the club.
“The hope is to eventually get more than one table going at the same time, because not everyone’s going to want to play [the same games],” Davis said.
Building a character is the most challenging undertaking in an RPG according to Davis; the process often involves a set of rules and several hours of work, if not more. He said he recommends that beginners learn Dungeons and Dragons first.
Edgington, who has helped several players build their characters, said the best part of character creation is deciding the details of a character’s personality and backstory.
“I love tabletop, and I want more people to play [it],” he said. The club’s vice president also noted the importance of new players having “a willingness to learn.”
Davis said computer access is “helpful” to the character creation process, but is not required.
Each tabletop RPG has establishing rules and guidelines, which provide campaigns with a sense of order and rhythm. However, it is up to the GM’s discretion how rigidly they follow these rules.
“I tend to play pretty loose with any of the rules, because the goal for me is [telling a] story and having fun,” Davis said about how he runs a campaign. “Everytime my party has a really cool idea, I want them to roll with it.”
As long as players aren’t breaking “hard and fast rules,” he said he allows them to be creative and stray from the plot he planned. As the GM, Davis is in charge of building a world and keeping players within its boundaries as well as telling the story.
For the players, it’s off to the races; they move through the world fighting enemies and making decisions that are based on their character’s personality and yield unpredictable outcomes.
Here the pace can quicken and one can hear their unique slang: roll initiative, armor class, D6, critical fail and critical success.
The Tabletop Collective currently meets on Fridays from 11:50 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Room 1220 in Building 5. For more information about the club contact Davis at eadavis@dmacc.edu or Edgington at ccedgington@dmacc.edu.

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