Typically, Power Hour presents a common opportunity to get homework done, eat lunch or talk to friends. But for freshman Natalie Garden, Thursdays bring about a completely different experience: the chance to shed her identity and become a new person entirely.
“I was drawn to [Dungeons and Dragons] by the DM, really,” she said. “He asked me super last minute if I wanted to join, and I jumped in pretty spur of the moment. I barely know anything about how the game works, but I’m learning, and I’m having a really good time.”
Garden plays a halfling rogue — a short, sneaky criminal who steals to get by — named Shadow.
“She does what she wants, for sure. She’s brave, a little impulsive, and she looks out for her friends and family first,” Garden said. “She’s interesting, for sure.”
It can be hard to completely transform into someone else, however.
“I think it’s weird because she’s so different from me,” she said. “I’m naturally curious, and I always want to explore strange things, but she’s more cautious, so I have to act that way, too.”
Dungeon Master Diego Alvarez (9) has high hopes for her character.
“I think she’s interesting, for sure,” he said. “Nat plays her very well, so you kind of can’t help but be interested in how she feels and how she’s thinking, and what she’s gonna do next. It’s cool to see someone so new pick it up so well.”
This isn’t her first time bringing someone from her head into real life.
“I make a lot of characters on my own, so this feels like a cool extension of that,” Garden said. “I like to think people up for drawings and animations, but it’s really different and cool to have to be those people.”
Garden has found a second home in the club.
“These are my people,” she said. “We get along great because we’re all doing this weird thing together, we all get each other. It’s like a little family, I think.”
By Mckenna Slaughter