Of Dice and Pens: Dungeons and Dragons at Bryan College

Written by Cameron Wisniewski, Copyeditor

Photos by Cameron Wisniewski

Every week, college students and faculty get together in a circle, carrying laptops and dice. They argue about math and rules and speak in silly voices about the various things their characters do. This is Dungeons and Dragons. 

Dungeons and Dragons is a Table-Top Roleplaying game, designed to be used with pencils, paper, and dice. It was originally created by Gary Gygax and David Arneson in 1974, and is currently in its Fifth edition, released in 2014.

Dr. Gates is a business professor at Bryan College, and also an avid Dungeons and Dragons player, including a game with other Bryan College faculty. However, while Gates plays quite often now, he remembers that the first attempt in high school did not go well, before getting into the game for real in 2019.  “One of the people in our group agreed to be the Dungeon Master, which is the person who leads and coordinates things, … and we all just kinda stumbled through and did all kinds of things wrong but had fun.” said Gates.

Gates said that, while complex for newcomers, Dungeons and Dragons still has a lot to offer. Although, he advised finding someone experienced to be the Dungeon Master. “It’s like the first campaign, the rules for the characters, and y’all can stumble through. And as long as y’all are willing to be patient, and turns take forever, because you’re like ‘cool, I want to cast fireball, how do I do that?’ Twenty minutes later you’ve read the rules, but I’m ok with that, because my goal is to spend time with people,” said Gates.

Dungeons and Dragons offers a great amount of social interaction as well. Hunter Landreth, a senior English major at Bryan College, who has been the Dungeon Master for several campaigns, discussed some of the social benefits of the game.  “A handful of my friends that I’ve made here I’ve gotten closer to, because we’ve had these consistent meetups where we’re actively working together and using our imaginations together to solve a problem. And just having that experience, having those shared memories, and inside jokes, and accomplishments really helps strengthen your closeness with someone,” said Landreth.

 Gates said that he likes having scheduled sessions to spend time with people, especially as an adult. “It never ends, and that’s probably one of the best parts, as far as having an excuse to hang out. When you play Catan for 45 minutes to an hour and the game’s over, and the next time y’all get together, you’re like ‘what should we do now? …But if you have a DnD group, you just keep playing DnD.” Gates said.


Cameron Wisniewski is a senior communications major at Bryan College. He is from Georgia, and likes to read and play video games in his spare time.