Holy Rollers Retreat

Holy Rollers: Blest Marches retreat. Jan 31-Feb 3, 2023 @ ARC Retreat Center in Stanchfield, MN. A D&D Retreat for clergy and church leaders.

Holy Rollers: Blest Marches was held Jan 31 – Feb 3rd at the ARC Retreat Community, about an hour north of the Twin Cities.


Each day afforded hours of Dungeons & Dragons play, with daily game sessions run by four seasoned DMs. The whole experience was that of a collective West Marches campaign. This unique campaign structure had some distinctive characteristics.

  • Play sessions, their frequency, and their length, were determined individually by each party, within the time constraints of the retreat.
  • Players formed parties out of a player pool of 18 players.
  • The plots developed through emergent gameplay. That is, the players decided 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.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is meet-the-team-2.png


Within each day, opportunities were offered to dig deeper into the role of the church in the gaming community (both the good and bad), as well as explore emergent ways that people of faith are forming themselves for the work of God today. A highlight was 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.


The ARC Retreat Community offered a quiet place to slow down the pace of life, located in 90 acres of pristine wetlands and woodlands within a majestic white pine forest.

The Holy Rollers Retreat affirms the sacredness of people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions. We affirm the sacredness of all those who have experienced exclusion because of race, ability, age, or culture. We affirm the sacredness of those who wrestle with addiction, physical or mental health, imprisonment, socio-economic circumstances, or anything that too often divides us. The leaders and DMs of the Holy Rollers Retreat are committed to welcoming and celebrating all people, and strive to make antiracist choices and work toward racial equity in all areas of our lives. All people, inclusive of age, race, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, family structure, ability or disability, are invited into the sacred space of this retreat not only as players and learners but also as storytellers, leaders, and people with vast experiences to share.