This is the first of our new Club of the Week feature! Here, we’re looking at Tabletop Club.
When people think of tabletop games, they usually think of two old men playing checkers or placing bets on poker and either winning big or being cheated out of their life savings. What many often don’t think of is a ragtag group of almost-heroes banding together to defeat the big bad evil guy. That’s what Blake’s tabletop club is.
Table-top club meets every Tuesday and Thursday during lunch in F174. The club is sponsored by Blake’s resident nerd teachers; Mr. Arden, Mr. Cornell, Mr. Keil, and Mr. Wieman. As the name quite clearly suggests, tabletop involves students playing a variety of tabletop and board games. While the club is most known for its TTRPGs such as Dungeons and Dragons or Apocalypse World, they also offer more conventional options such as chess or checkers.
It’s Thursday, RPG day. Once everyone arrives with their lunches, they break into their groups to play Kids on Bikes. Returning players have their character sheets and five-pound bags of dice out ready to roll. New players come in and club members help them get their character sheets ready, explain the rules and get ready to start today’s session. Mr. Arden recaps what happened last week, and it’s hard to explain. They encountered a ghost elk, and a haunted bone harpoon, and received visions while holding it of a native Alaskan man hunting with his pet ghost elk, Kakosh. The group deciphered that, to put his spirit to rest, they had to find the skeleton of the elk. After some timely advice from the general store’s clerk, they went to a bend in the river where they had seen the hunter’s visions. They succeeded in digging up an elk skeleton, and when our heroes placed the bone harpoon on the elk skeleton, it put the hunter and the elk’s spirits to rest.
“It’s all about community building and friendships. We’ve got [Tuesday] for regular board games, which is a bit more light-hearted and cheesy, and we’ve got RPG day on Thursday. That’s more collaborative storytelling and world-building,” says Mr. Wieman. “It’s the power of friendship!” Whether it’s Pathfinder or Checkers, there’s something for nearly everyone. Artists, writers, bookworms and just about any other breed of nerd. Table-top club members are always more than willing to let newcomers in and teach them the basics.
“You got the chance to play a lot of fun games with a lot of fun people. You get to roleplay, which I think is always fun,” says Thorn, a sophomore. “I only knew one or two people here, but I’ve also met a lot of new people. I’m getting to know them better and having fun playing tabletop games with everyone. Right now we’re playing a game called Kids on Bikes, where we play as children in a haunted town. It’s pretty fun.”
Table-top club at its core is simple; it’s a group of people, getting together to share light-hearted, sometimes silly moments together. If this sounds like fun to you, consider joining. The club is a revolving door with people roaming in and out regularly. There’s no fee or commitment and it’s a great way to make friends and build a sense of community.