Back in the beforetimes (2018 & 2019) a bunch of clergy and other faith leaders got together to play D&D and learn from one another about the intersections between role playing games, faith, and ministry. We called it “Pastors & Dragons”. I am beyond excited to announce the return of this retreat under the new name “Holy Rollers“!
In the midst of this coming winter, clergy and people of faith will join together for an epic 3 days and nights learning, resting, and playing Dungeons & Dragons. With a mix of gaming, learning, and rest, this retreat will allow you to explore the connections between life, faith, and the world’s greatest roleplaying game.
Holy Rollers: Blest Marches will explore emergent gameplay through a West Marches style experience. Interspersed with the gaming will be time to learn and discuss the role of faith in our world and emergent ways of being church today.
The 2023 Holy Rollers Retreat will be held Jan 31 – Feb 3rd at the ARC Retreat Community, about an hour north of the Twin Cities. In a homelike atmosphere, ARC offers 90 acres of pristine wetlands and woodlands within a majestic white pine forest. Trails are available for walking, skiing, and snowshoeing, as is a labyrinth for walking meditation.
Each day will afford hours of Dungeons & Dragons play, with daily game sessions run by four seasoned DMs. The whole experience will be that of a collective West Marches campaign. This unique campaign structure will have some distinctive characteristics.
- Play sessions, their frequency, and their length, will be determined individually by each party, within the time constraints of the retreat.
- Players will form parties out of a player pool of up to 20 players.
- The plot(s) will develop through emergent gameplay. That is, the players will decide where to go and what to do, venturing out to explore a vast and dangerous expanse of uncharted wilderness.
The West Marches were first devised by Ben Robbins around 2000 in a now-famous series of blog posts. Since then, there have been thousands of West Marches games run based off of Robbins’ original idea. The structure of our gaming will also be guided by Izirion’s Enchiridion of the West Marches, which further expounds and develops this unique style of gameplay.
Within each day, opportunities will be offered to go dig deeper into the role of the church in the gaming community (both the good and bad), as well as exploring emergent ways that people of faith are forming themselves for the work of God today. A highlight will be a screening of the GenCon-award-winning documentary The Satanic Panic and the Religious Battle for the Imagination and follow up conversation with the featured Pastor Derek White, aka The Geek Preacher.
TAKE A LONG REST.
The ARC Retreat Community offers a quiet place to slow down the pace of life, restore balance, and grow on your spiritual journey. Enjoy healthy and delicious meals prepared and served from the ARC kitchen. Cozy up by the fireplace or strap on snowshoes and explore the 90 acres of pristine wetlands and woodlands within a majestic white pine forest, located in Stanchfield, MN, about an hour north of the MSP Airport.
Retreat participants will have their choice of lodging.
Single or Double Room in the Lodge
- 11 single rooms and 3 double rooms available
- Guest rooms are private with shared bathrooms
- Linens and towels are provided
- Close to the action, most retreat activities will happen throughout the many spaces of the Lodge
- a single-person dwelling in the woods
- a bright, lofty room with a kitchenette and screened-in porch.
- ideal for those desiring more solitude.
- bay window faces through the trees toward Little Stanchfield Lake, which is visible in the winter.
- heat and electricity
- water is provided in jugs
- Nearby outhouse, with showers and bathrooms in the Lodge also available for “hermit” use