Cheryl Clack

(Rock Hill, S.C.) — Prior to 2021, there were no outlets available for Winthrop University students who held an interest in fantasy-based role-playing games, such Dungeons & Dragons.

Seeing a chance to create a new role-playing-based club, Winthrop students Dwayne Kirkland, Cynthia Burns and some of their friends decided to create Nat19, which focuses on fantasy-based games.

The name Nat19 comes from the name of an internet show that is devoted to Dungeons & Dragons.

“We had all been told repeatedly, because we were interested in (tabletop role-playing games) and D&D, that we should join the on-campus organization for it. We went around looking and we were very upset to learn that if there had been one, it had been disbanded for a while,” Kirkland said. “So, we still want to play D&D and we still want there to be a club. So, who better to do it than us.”

However, the members of Nat19 say they’re open to playing all types of tabletop role-playing games.

“Some of our groups don’t do D&D. We say ‘we’re the Dungeons & Dragons club,’ but we also have some people running Monster of the Week or Lancer or Vampire: The Masquerade, which are other systems that are like D&D,” said Cynthia Burns, president of Nat19.

For players like Lynn Winfree, Nat19 gives them a chance to experience D&D with other fans of the game.

“Well, I played a lot of D&D-based discord with a group in Charleston. I never met with them in person, it was all over (voice chat), so I thought to give in-person a try,” Winfree said. “I really like (Nat19). Everyone is super cool and super nice and I feel super welcome and I’m really excited to create a group of my own.”

In the end, members say the club is more about the chance to make connections with people with similar interests.

“It’s just being able to connect people and make friendships and just people getting to have a break in between their classes and stuff. I think it’s really awesome,” Burns said.

The group holds meetings every Wednesday at 7 p.m in Owens 202 or you can connect with Nat19 on Twitter.