Maplewood Hobby Revives 'Dungeons and Dragons'
Saturday, April 21, 2012 • 8:06pm
MAPLEWOOD, NJ - We would all like to believe we could stay young forever and keep playing the childhood games that we used to enjoy. For some people, that childhood game that was loved by all was called Dungeons and Dragons and aside from big conventions it's difficult to find a nice spot to play anymore. However, a place called Maplewood Hobby is changing that.
Rich Trockel, owner of Maplewood Hobby, started having Dungeons and Dragons events in February 2011 at his store. Trockel wanted to have an outreach for the game for people who thought it was too complicated or for those who used to play it but stopped because their group fell apart or they do not have time anymore to put the hobby into their busy schedule.
“My intention is that they form other groups here and try to branch out to play other types of Dungeons and Dragons or other types of role playing games,” Trockel explained. He has even brought long-time gamers into his store.
Josh Young has been playing at the Maplewood Hobby store for seven years and said he enjoys the camaraderie that comes with the game even though he hasn't played it in a long time.
“I also like Warhammer, Infinity and Flames of War,” Young said. Luckily for him, the store also offers an array of different types of role-playing games from Warhammer to Field of Glory and even card games like Magic The Gathering.
One of the biggest events the store holds is on Memorial Day weekend when Maplewood Hobby hosts 40 hours of Warhammer 40K. The event, Trockel said, said draws about 30-40 people who stay up all night to play the game.
The game of Dungeons and Dragons was created in 1974 by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson and was first published by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc., but since 1997 it has been published by gaming giant Wizards of the Coast. The game is considered to be a fantasy role-playing game where players take control of a character, and with other people playing characters, players try to complete a quest with their comrades.
A designated Dungeon Master helps with the story line, reading from a Dungeons and Dragons publication, as players encounter a plethora of monsters during the quest. To attack these monsters and to move along in the quest, players use a series of die to determine what their character does. In today’s game each character is represented by a miniature figure that is placed on the game board.
Dungeons and Dragons is considered the Mecca of all role-playing board games and computers game alike. Games like Flames of War, Warhammer 40K and Magic The Gathering get their inspiration from Dungeons and Dragons.
Roland Volz, a Dungeon Master at Maplewood Hobby, said visitors to the store can also see how different fantasy medieval movies and television such as the Lords of the Rings trilogy and Game of Thrones were inspired from Dungeons and Dragons publications that were created long before any of the two forms of entertainment were even conceived.
Ryan Gaydos is a student at Kean University. He wrote this article for a journalism class.