With Halloween around the corner, multiple people are trying to come up with a costume or character to embody. At Ririe and Rigby high school, some students are also focused on coming up with a character to play in the schools’ newest clubs.
On Oct. 9, both Ririe and Rigby school boards approved two separate clubs for role-playing games. With board approval, the RPG club formed at Rigby High School and Ririe Tabletop Gaming Club kicked off at Ririe.
RPGs like Dungeons and Dragons (D&D), Pathfinder and others create social connections and allow for students to spend time together, according to the club applications. Jeff Gee, superintendent of Ririe School District No. 252, said he thinks the club will be an opportunity for students to have fun while spending time face-to-face.
“I think it’s a great idea,” Gee said. “I think kids spend way too much time in front of their phones and on video games.”
Jaeda Pappas, an English teacher and co-adviser of the club, said on paper, the Rigby club is known as a Live Action Role Play (LARP) club. She said this is due to a misunderstanding by the individual who filled out the club application. Pappas said the club is geared more toward tabletop RPGs. LARPing is a form of entertainment in which players often dress up and act out scenarios live. Tabletop games, on the other hand, involve creating stories without typically physically acting them out.
Pappas said the idea for the club began last year when she found out high school student Hunter Geddes played Dungeons and Dragons. Pappas said the two began talking and she found out Geddes wanted to start a club. She said he was not the only one.
“There is a huge population of D&D players at the school,” Pappas said.
Paperwork began last year, but Pappas said it fell through, so instead, the club began this fall. Meetings have been tentatively scheduled for two-hour blocks Thursdays after school. Angie Robison, chair of the Jefferson Joint School District No. 251 Board of Trustees, said the school board was assured an adult will be present at all meetings.
Both clubs will be working with local business Nerd Geek U. Ririe Tabletop Gaming Club members will have the option to attend a once-a-month meeting at the Rigby business, on top of regular twice-weekly meetings after school.
Meanwhile, Pappas said Nerd Geek U offered to help with Dungeon Master training. Dungeon Masters are the individuals who run the game for other players. Geddes, who has experience with the game, said he will be hosting a game for “greenies” or people new to tabletop RPGs.
Pappas said she thinks the club will be a good way for students to meet others who share similar interests.
“They have people here,” she said. “In high school, it’s so hard to be able to find your people.”
Pappas advises the club along with fellow English teacher Charles West. At Ririe, the club advisers are Kayla Baker and Karlee Cysewski, and the club is supported by Baker’s husband Israel Baker. Parent consent forms are required at Ririe; they are not required at Rigby.