Swords Castle was the home of swords and sorcery on Saturday, 1st April, as Dungeons & Dragons (DnD) players from all corners of Fingal assembled to launch Fingal County Council’s Community Gaming programme. The programme brings together tabletop gamers from Swords, Blanchardstown, and Donabate Libraries to the 13th century chapel building.
Mayor of Fingal, Cllr. Howard Mahony, embraced the spirit of the event, saying, “Playing games together unites people. Regardless of their background, everyone can come together for a common purpose, sharing stories, developing skills, and being creative. These young people embody the community spirit that we want to see in Fingal”.
Fingal Community Gaming is funded by the Chief Executive’s Innovation Fund. Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, AnnMarie Farrelly, said, “Fingal Community Gaming is a new and innovative way of engaging the community. Reaching out to, and supporting, young people and empowering them will help to unlock their potential. Staging tabletop games in public libraries, and venues like Swords Castle, taps into the public zeitgeist surrounding games like Dungeons & Dragons”.
With DnD clubs already established in three Fingal libraries’ branches, the programme will expand the clubs throughout the library network in Fingal and to local youth clubs, like Foróige Balbriggan. Events are planned throughout the programme, which runs until September 2023. If you would like to take part in any of these events, contact your local library.
Fingal Libraries Dungeon Master Marc McCluskey, who runs the games along with fellow Dungeon Masters, Esther Jordan and Megan Davidson, said, “We always make our events open for neurodiverse or gender diverse people. Anyone with sensory needs can let us know upfront and it’s great to see society reflected around the gaming table.”
Tabletop games are games of strategy and skill that are played for fun and socialising. Played on boards with miniature figures, pen and paper, dice, modular tiles, or printed cards, they involve roleplay, and may be co-operative or competitive. They foster creativity and collaborative storytelling. Tabletop games differ from board games in that they reward strategy and skill, rather than chance. As well as Dungeons & Dragons, popular tabletop games include Pokémon, Warhammer, Settlers of Catan, Magic: The Gathering, and Carcassonne.
The Fingal Chief Executive’s Innovation Fund will provide materials for the clubs to use for gaming. Club kits including rulebooks, dice, battle mats, starter quests, and bespoke resource packs are being provided to each club and will enable them to continue long after the initial programme comes to an end.