GREENVILLE, S.C (WSPA) – Brennan Witherspoon didn’t hold back when it came to explaining what he believes makes dungeons & Dragons (D&D) such a unique adventure game.

As he spoke from behind the counter at Boardwalk games in Greenville, there was a noticeable enthusiasm in his voice.

“The cool thing about D&D,” he explained, “is it allows you to get whatever you want out of it. So you can go on big adventures… or just hang out in the background.”

He did admit that the game can be intimidating for beginners who don’t know where to start, but he said that’s partly because of the unique style of the game. 

Witherspoon compared D&D to video games, but instead of the story being restricted by a program, you’re free to make up your own adventure as you go. He said it’s more about teamwork and problem-solving and less about competition.

It’s more than the books and hand-drawn maps. It’s about exploration and adventure. It’s about being together with new and old friends during a time when the world can seem so divided.

Laughter would frequently erupt from the adjoining room as Witherspoon spoke. The players-in-training were undoubtedly enjoying their game.

Among them was Brandon Koser. This was Kisor’s first time playing Dungeons & Dragons. He said he’s familiar with other table-top style games, but he’s been meaning to learn D&D because it’s what his friends play.

“What better way to decide it’s time to do it,” he asked, “than a one-time session that is for newbies?”

Also among them was Austin Simmons. He said the thing that appeals to him the most about D&D was the chance to come together and tell stories.

There’s no denying that Dungeons and Dragons have increased in popularity in recent years. That could be in part due to its many references in the popular Netflix series “Stranger Things,”  but it could also be a consequence of COVID-19, and the restrictions put in place regarding social gatherings.

Regardless of the reasons, one thing was made abundantly clear by this rag-tag group of wannabe players. The world of Dungeons & Dragons is about much more than plastic dice and toy monsters.

If you’d like to learn how to play Dungeons & Dragons, Boardwalk hosts the game every Wednesday, with newbie sessions held the last Sunday of every month.