On Friday, May 5, the Hastings College Roleplayer’s Guild met in Hazelrigg Student Union Rooms A and B for some fun and games before finals and to attract any interested students to join. Made up of 41 members across campus, the Guild is the largest student-led organization. It was founded last year by junior Dodge Weishaar and sophomore Alex Rieflin and is sponsored by English professor Dr. Benjamin Waller. The Guild is a combination of two main activities: live action role-playing (LARP) and tabletop games such as “Dungeons and Dragons” and “Pathfinder.”
One half of the room was dedicated to LARPing. The LARPing community, called Amtgard, is open to everyone on and off campus and is led by senior Nate Mohlman. They meet on Sundays from noon until 5:00 p.m. On one table, there was an array of different LARPing weapons that are commonly used during duels. This included short swords, called omni, and long swords. Swords are made of rods, such as the shaft of a golf club, that are then covered with pipe insulation and camp pads. A foam baseball is fastened to the bottom, and then the entire sword is covered in about a yard of fabric. This design is popular because it makes the weapon safe and prevents serious injury.
Padded shields were also on display, as well as spell balls, which are foam balls covered in a specific color of fabric in order to inflict a specific type of damage on opponents. For example, red balls are fire balls, and yellow balls are lightning balls.
Because there were students that were new to LARPing, Mohlman and other veterans taught the rules of dueling and let everyone try out the weapons. The rules are simple: the duel starts when swords are tapped, if a person takes two hits, they are out, and there are no head shots allowed. Students also engaged in a few rounds of spell ball dodgeball, which is similar to dodgeballs, but each ball inflicts damage according to their type.
The other half of the room was reserved for a raffle. The raffle included six small hand-painted figurines of mythical creatures used for tabletop games. Five of the figurines being raffled off required monetary donations to the group, while one was a door prize for anyone to win. The Guild spent $20 to commission an artist to paint the figurines and made a total of $49. They plan on splitting the profit in half. Part of the money will go toward new LARPing equipment that will be HC-themed, while the other part will be spent on new paint for members to create personalized tabletop game pieces.
For the raffle, sophomore Jarad Johnson painted some figures of his own. Johnson has been painting since he was in sixth grade, but took a break during high school. Now that he is in college, he has taken up the hobby once again. Johnson is a regular member of the Guild and is especially interested in the tabletop side of the group.
When asked about the future of the Guild, Rieflin said, “I am hoping that we can do more than just be campus wide. I hope to get faculty and the community involved!”