“I leap from the bridge and brandish my war axe!” Brandon shouts with a booming voice that shakes the entire room. The battle scene represented on the table looks like nothing more than plastic figurines on a hand drawn map, but in everyone’s imagination Brandon truly is a Dragon-born fighter taking on a horde of blood thirsty goblins.
This is a typical moment in the tabletop role-playing game, Dungeons and Dragons. If you’re not familiar, Dungeons and Dragons is a group story telling experience that plays like a board game. Each player creates a fantasy character with a unique set of special abilities, who is then guided through a story full of intrigue, mystery and action by the Dungeon Master (who is a cross between a referee and a story teller). For some people, Dungeons and Dragons can be intimidating at first, but as long time players like Brandon know, it’s a game that anyone can pick up and learn with relative ease.
Brandon is the owner of Roll For Initiative, a bi-monthly event for newcomers and experts to play Dungeons and Dragons in a friendly environment. Two years ago Brandon tried the game for the first time and immediately fell in love with it. Unfortunately, he ran into a common problem for the hobby: he struggled to find others in Victoria who were willing to form a group and play.
At the time, Brandon had just joined the Lifetime Networks Employment Program and was one day struck with inspiration: What if there was a local event that brought the Dungeons and Dragons community together to play in an open and safe space? With the support of the Employment Program, Brandon constructed a business plan to start his own small business.
Roll for Initiative is in its second year of operation and the event’s popularity is booming. “I started off offering the event once a month,” Brandon explained, “but by the summer of our first year we were having to turn people away because we were sold out within the first few weeks of sales. So I decided to expand the event to two times a month to meet the demand.” And Brandon has already begun planning to expand again, as more and more players are showing interest.
Interested in finding out more? Go to www.rollforinitiative.ca for more details .
This article was written by Alex Saunders and originally appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of the Lifetime Networks Newsletter.