Game on

Gam­ing group in­vites pub­lic to be­come Heroes and Ad­ven­tur­ers dur­ing up­com­ing open house

Truro Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - ENTERTAINM­ENT BY CODY MCEACHERN [email protected]­daily.com

Heroes and Ad­ven­tur­ers group pre­par­ing to open its doors and show the com­mu­nity what it has to of­fer in the world of role-play­ing games.

Imag­ine a world where any­thing you think of can be­come real, a world where imag­i­na­tion and fan­tasy dic­tates re­al­ity.

For one group of lo­cal role play­ers, this world be­comes a re­al­ity ev­ery Tues­day night, and they are putting out an open in­vi­ta­tion for ev­ery­one to join them.

The Heroes and Ad­ven­tur­ers gam­ing group are hold­ing an open house event on Sept. 30 to in­vite the pub­lic to test out role­play­ing games and be­come part of their com­mu­nity.

“We just want to show peo­ple what we are about, what we do, and show them we are wel­com­ing to ev­ery­one,” said Jon Hutt, founder and pro­gram leader of Heroes and Ad­ven­tur­ers.

The open house will be hosted by James Fin­nie, a well-known UK player and cre­ator in the role­play­ing game scene, who will talk about and ex­plain what role­play­ing games are.

There will be ta­bles set up with dif­fer­ent role-play­ing games, from the tra­di­tional Dun­geons and Dragons to oth­ers such as Sav­age Worlds, al­low­ing new­com­ers and par­tic­i­pants to choose what they want to play.

“We’re all about cre­at­ing a pos­i­tive com­mu­nity, which is why we want to have the open house, and show how wel­com­ing we are to all peo­ple, to ev­ery­one,” said Hutt.

“Whether some­one has an in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­ity, a phys­i­cal dis­abil­ity, autism, ADHD, it doesn’t mat­ter. They are all wel­come to join us and play, and we all work to­gether to make the pro­gram suc­cess­ful.”

The group has been meet­ing each Tues­day for the last four years, and was cre­ated after Hutt found him­self look­ing for a weekly ac­tiv­ity to break up the nor­mal 9-to-5 rou­tine.

“I al­ways used mu­sic as an out­let, but liv­ing in Truro while my

band­mates lived in Dart­mouth left me look­ing for some­thing else to do,” said Hutt.

“I went in to our lo­cal game store at the time, and no­ticed they were sell­ing Dun­geons and Dragons. I hadn’t played since I was a kid, and couldn’t be­lieve it was still a thing, so I asked the shop owner if there was a group around, and when he told me there wasn’t, I de­cided to cre­ate one my­self.”

Over those four years, the

group grew from Hutt and an­other guy mak­ing awk­ward con­ver­sa­tion at a ta­ble to a group of 20 play­ers, with an­other 20 join­ing when they moved to the Colch­ester-East Hants Pub­lic Li­brary a year ago.

The group meets ev­ery Tues­day from 5:30 to 8 p.m. to break into groups and play dif­fer­ent games, each with their own story called a ‘Cam­paign.’

Each mem­ber cre­ates their

own char­ac­ter for the games, which are used to progress in the game’s cam­paign.

Where nor­mal board games or even video games lack cer­tain flex­i­bil­i­ties in what can and can’t be done, in role-play­ing games, the player uses their imag­i­na­tion to be what they want, and do what they want, which is what draws most plays in.

“Un­like video games, you can lit­er­ally go any di­rec­tion or do

any­thing,” said Hutt.

“One of our play­ers loves video games, but that lack of free­dom is what got him into role-play­ing games. In video games, there are pa­ram­e­ters and lim­i­ta­tions. You want to scale a wall? You might not be able to. In role-play­ing games though, you can jump over that wall or fly into the sky, what­ever you want.”

From the out­side, the group’s Tues­day night meets may just look like peo­ple play­ing games, but Hutt says play­ers and mem­bers are also learn­ing new skills at the same time, in­clud­ing read­ing com­pre­hen­sion, math skills, prob­lem solv­ing and even so­cial skills.

“Our main goal of course is to have fun, but we ac­tu­ally use the group to help teach peo­ple the fun­da­men­tals of life skills,” he said.

“We ad­dress is­sues through talk about them or group dis­cus­sions, and while the prob­lems may be small, it helps them in the long run. Every­thing we do or teach is trans­ferrable to their lives out­side the group.”

Hutt hopes the open house will not only open the pub­lic’s eyes to the ben­e­fits of Heroes and Ad­ven­tur­ers, but that it will get peo­ple to join in on the fun and be­come a part of the com­mu­nity.

“Much like the li­brary, we are com­pletely free to join,” he said.

“We can lend mem­bers game books, give them dice, and we pro­vide them with a safe place to just be them­selves and have fun. There aren’t a whole lot of pro­grams out there that pro­vide the same.”

CoDy mCeaCherN/truro DaIly NewS

Jon Hutt founded the Heroes and Ad­ven­tur­ers four years ago. The group started out play­ing Dun­geons and Dragons in its early days, but has ex­panded its cat­a­logue to a va­ri­ety of role-play­ing games, in­clud­ing Sav­age Worlds and Flash­ing Blades.

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