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Official 'Dungeons & Dragons' Fantasy Quest to Begin in Carroll Gardens

 The Brooklyn Stratgest, at 333 Court St., is hosting a Dungeons and Dragons Encounters Program, sponsored by the Wizards of the Coast, the game's creator.
Dungeons and Dragons
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CARROLL GARDENS — Step into a realm, where there are battles to be fought, challenges to be accepted and stories to be told.

The “Dungeons & Dragons Encounters” program a weekly role-play adventure into a fantasy world, will be hosted, for the first time, at the Brooklyn Strategist, a neighborhood game center at 333 Court St.

The role-playing game involves tactical skill, character creation, problem solving and so much more, said Jeff LaSala, 36, an employee at the center, game designer and a freelance writer.

“People are attracted to different parts of the game,” said Bethany Macri, 27, a software engineer who has been playing at the Strategist since last October.

The “Encounter” games, sponsored by Wizards of the Coast, the game’s maker, will run every Wednesday night, beginning next week, and is open for adults above the ages of 18, although older children can be accommodate if there is room, said LaSala, who has published a novel with D&D’s creator.

The Brooklyn Strategist has been hosting unofficial D&D games for adult gamers, usually in their 20s and 30s, since last year, said LaSala.

Matthew Kleiman, 30, who has been playing D&D for more than a year, said the game lets him tap into a creative side through storytelling and writing (his group keeps a weekly blog).

“You can leave behind your job, you can leave behind your home and leave behind all your troubles and escape into a fantasy world that you’re a part of creating,” said Kleiman, 30, who is also a software engineer and entrepreneur.

And whether you’re an old hand or you’re new to the magical realm, the Strategist welcomes players of all levels to join the weekly game.

The center will be hosting a free introductory session to D&D on Aug. 17 and 18 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., where staff will take questions and also discuss the game’s latest fifth generation of the rules, which will be played at the program.

The game brings in a creative mix people from different backgrounds, all of whom contribute to the adventure’s story, said Sam Eaton, 43, a mentalist who lives in Carroll Gardens.

“It’s a great social experience,” said Eaton.

But it’s maintaining a “child-like enthusiasm” that binds the gamers together, he added.

“It’s capturing an enthusiasm that you can only have when you’re 12 years old,” said Eaton, who started playing nine months ago but used to play when he was a child.

On most Friday nights, you’ll find Kleiman and LaSala engaged in a D&D quest, surrounded by gamers who have become some of their closest friends.

And traveling through the magical realm has become more appealing to LaSala, who met his wife through a D&D game, than classic Friday activities like bar nights or movies.

“That sounds so boring to me,” he said. “This is so much more fun.”