Conscious Party: Dungeons & Donations

ROLL ON: Players participate just over the halfway point of a 24-hour Dungeons & Dragons game at The Wyvern's Tale, as seen via the event's live online stream in 2016. The fourth annual Dungeons & Donations, which raises money for area Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, starts Dec. 8 at 6 p.m.
ROLL ON: Players participate just over the halfway point of a 24-hour Dungeons & Dragons game at The Wyvern's Tale, as seen via the event's live online stream in 2016. The fourth annual Dungeons & Donations, which raises money for area Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, starts Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. Photo courtesy of The Wyvern's Tale

WHAT: A 24-hour Dungeons & Dragons game to benefit Levine Children’s Hospital

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 8, 6 p.m.-Saturday, Dec. 9, 6 p.m.

WHERE: The Wyvern’s Tale, 347 Merrimon Ave.

WHY: Dungeons & Dragons games are known to last a full afternoon or evening, but the Dungeons & Donations marathon takes that legacy to another level.

Starting at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, Asheville gaming store The Wyvern’s Tale will host its fourth annual 24-hour D&D game in association with Extra Life, an organization founded by gamers to raise funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Donations go directly to Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, the closest CMN location, to fund critical treatments, health care services, pediatric medical equipment and charitable care. Nearly $4,000 was raised through the 2016 game.

Players may come to the store at any time during the 24 hours to trek through the classic adventure module The White Plume Mountain. A $5 donation gets you on the player list, and as soon as someone dies, you get moved up to the table. Adding another layer of intrigue is having the game streamed live online via Twitch, which lets players engage viewers, who in turn may participate.

“Lots of people stream D&D these days, but we allow you to affect the game with your donations,” says Dungeons & Donations director Deklan Green. “You can make things happen for the players, good or — more often — bad, and we think that really makes the audience more invested in what we’re doing. It makes us more invested in being entertaining, and most importantly it helps us raise lots of money for a great cause.”

Children’s hospitals hold special significance for Green, who had to go to one for a surgery when he was 13. Supporting these hospitals through the game and a silent auction featuring items donated by local businesses, crafters and Wyvern’s Tale customers augments what he says is already “a wonderful communal atmosphere,” the most recent of which saw a player stay in the game for a record 17.5 hours.

“There are lots of in-jokes that we develop over the years, and some particularly generous — or villainous — donors compete to see how many characters they can kill with their donations,” Green says. “We’re still only a small group of volunteers, so many of us are running on little sleep by the 24th hour, but we always have a lot of fun and we always walk away from it feeling like we’ve accomplished something amazing.”

Dungeons & Donations takes place 6 p.m.-6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 8-Saturday, Dec. 9, at The Wyvern’s Tale. $5 to play in person or for a viewer to alter the game. www.dndonations.org

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About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for ashevillemovies.com and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

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