Photo by Abraham Drinkin’
By Kat Woman- Queen of the Nosy Ones
The St. Louis University of Missouri announced on April 1 that it will host a new class next semester: Interactive Dungeons and Dragons. The class is being offered for advance players and intermediate. Students will create a character to live-action role play (LARP) during the semester. Students cannot break character as they play as a barbarian, paladin, cleric, druid, monk, fighter, bard, rogue, wizard, or ranger.
To LARP means to create a new identity and elaborate backstory much like fake IDs and what guys tell girls at fraternities. Students will also need to choose an alignment of their morals and ethics- ranging from Goodie-two Shoes to Ain’t My Problem. This classroom style of interactive LARPing allows the kingdom of SLUM to be a commuter kingdom of people from all types of lives.
The class will be taught by expert Dungeons and Dragons player, Charles Hasnolif. Hasnolif has been researching the game since he was a teenager. He has created a new world for the SLUM campus, forcing the new characters (students) to learn and adapt to their changing environment or face devastating consequences.
“It’s not just about playing in your mom’s basement. It’s about bringing it outside where you can get fresh air,” Hasnolif said.
To enhance the experience of the role playing, SLUM has invested heavily in new foam weaponry, left over costumes from the theater department, and holographic imagery to change all the aspects of the campus into another realm of imagination.
High-Chancellor Ted Gorge was thrilled about this new class. Gorge said, “Normally a good session of Dungeons and Dragons will last two to three days, we managed to push it to four years. This should attract the more geeky students that go to Rallo to improve our campus diversity. Take that Rallo!”
There will be one main quest given by King Gorge, ruler of SLUM- play to your strengths and defeat the evil wizard king who lives in Toking Tolkien Tower overlooking the SLUM square. Students can work individually or in groups to gather information, create plans, defeat monsters, and explore dungeons to gain enough power by the end of the semester to defeat the evil menace. The course offers a variety of learning styles to flourish on campus while presenting group work or individual work at the student’s discretion.
“I’ve never played Dungeons and Dragons, but this sounds like fun. I hope to use my knowledge of plants to help me,” Megan Newbie, freshman, science stuff, said.
While there is an overarching quest, there are numerous side quests posted on the YourGateway site weekly. Each quest performed earns the students experience points, items, gold, and other things that may help them in their quest. Sometimes outside research is required to complete the quests. Students can report to their mentor Hasnolif for guidance in all that they do.
“I want to fight a dragon!” Larry Onetrack, junior, wordsmith, said.
There are going to be side quests with possible appearances from dragons for students to defeat. There will be one scheduled dragon appearance for a midterm. Students will be warned a week in advance to team up with others to save as many villagers from the fire-breather as possible. For defeating the wizard king, King Gorge will reward the students with an honorary certificate of their service to the kingdom of SLUM.
When asked to what possible future benefit this could be for students’ careers, Professor Hasnolif said, “For most students, leaving college, finding a job is a never-ending quest. This helps them prepare for the future pitfalls, hardships, and hardaches they will find.”
For more information about the course, refer to SLUM’s course description guide on YourGateway or contact Hasnolif at firstname.lastname@example.org.