EC Tabletop Gaming Club allows students to meet new people


The Tabletop Gaming Club hosts game nights for the fantasy role-playing game ‘Dungeons and Dragons.’ They meet Friday at 1 p.m. in the ITEC Building. Daniel Pineda / The Union

He sits at the large table, behind the four-panel screen depicting a ferocious red dragon. Across from him are five students staring idly at the player-token-covered grid; each with a set of different-sided die and several sheets of paper.

His party’s mission was to go and find out why trade was put to a halt with the local Kobold tribe.

“They go in and do the normal exploration,” Ethan Crawford Droesch, 21, said when recounting his first time campaigning as an official Dungeon Master. “There they find Kobold Alchemist that uses acid and fire, and even made a potion that was basically a beefed up steroid.”

Crawford Droesch, a computer science major at El Camino College, never fully expected to gain interest in Dungeons & Dragons until about two years ago in the spring semester. He said the way he happened to join the Tabletop Gaming Club was through a chance encounter.

“The Tabletop Club is full of a group of friends that basically made the club first,” Droesch said. “Where I was hanging out was basically right next to them. So I ended kinda, like, going into the group; and when I came into the group, I started going to the club meetings.”

The same year he joined, Droesch said the club began hosting game nights for the fantasy role-playing game, Dungeons & Dragons. During this time, he had a key interest in the game, but didn’t know where to officially begin.

“They were like, ‘Oh, we’re gonna start doing Dungeons & Dragons,’ and I was like, ‘Oh. I have never made a character.’ Had interest, but never made a character,” Droesch said. “They told me, ‘Well, we’ll get you a piece of paper right now and start you up.”

The first character he ever created would be one he remembers to this day: A Fighter-Class Kobold named Kilil Peacot.

After regularly attending the club meetings, and obtaining a bigger interest in the game, he began to transition into one of the club’s official Dungeon Masters.

“It was a slow transition,” Crawford Droesch said. “But ever since ElCo started, I had a lot more time.”

He also believes that the club, altogether, is different when comparing it to other clubs on the aspect of what it’s about.

“This isn’t like a bash on the other clubs,” Droesch said. “But for our club specifically, we just bring in people who have interest or have nothing to do. We pride on having our club meetings being completely optional.”

This open aspect, he said, is what he likes about the club the most; that the club also makes it easy for people who are either not good with socializing or are just new to the EC and don’t know a lot of people.

Currently, Crawford Droesch is attending his third year of EC with the hope of transferring to a university by next year. He said he also plans to change majors from computer science to psychology.

“I’m planning on transferring to either UC Irvine or UC Santa Cruz,” Droesch said. “Dominguez Hills is another solid one.”

Until then, he said he will continues as the Tabletop Club’s president.

He said he also does not know if Dungeons & Dragons will continue to be held by the time he steps down, but expects it to still be a weekly event members of the club can take part of outside of meetings.

“It’s all on her,” Crawford Droesch said, referring to the future president of the club, psychology major Kess Tanino. “But D&D is just one of those things that helps bring a lot people together, and brings a lot of imagination. Which is a little bit harder to find a little later in life.”