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