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Tamburlain
06-30-2009, 03:42 PM
Is anyone in the Dallas area up for meeting and gaming regularly (either monthly or bimonthly) at one of the local area Irish Pubs?

Here's the why I ask. My wife and I recently sent out a volley of friendly email queries to several pubs whose atmospheres we thought were conducive to table top gaming. Though I did get a couple of polite "no thanks" or otherwise lukewarm responses (I haven't heard anything yet from Lakewood's Cock & Bull Pub (http://www.cockandbulldallas.com/)), I did receive one very enthusiastic reply from Marius Donnelly, the proprietor of Trinity Hall (http://www.trinityhall.tv/Poker.htm).

Here is the most informative part of his last email to me: "...we would be delighted to have you with us, although the Sunday evenings can be a little hectic and may not be as conducive to a quiet board game. With the limited attendance that you are considering so far I do not expect a challenge, should it grow much past 10/15 people we may have to focus the event on Mondays rather than Sunday."

Here are the pros as I see them:
1.
Sunday evenings are available, but we might have to compete with the noise of their weekly trivia games. However, Monday evenings, the slowest of the week, are already set aside for gaming, of a sort. With no other distractions going on in the pub, 7:30 PM to 11:30 PM is the time set aside for the pub's weekly poker games held every Monday. Marius suggests that it would be easy for 5-10 rpg-ers to meet at 6:30 or 7 PM, reserve a couple of adjacent tables, and simply game away unobtrusively to our hearts' content (they close at 1:30 AM).

Thus, it would be easy to hold a regular meet-up (weekly, bimonthly, or monthly) from, say, 6:30 PM to 11:30 PM on Mondays.

2.
It's centrally located in Dallas, and Mockingbird Station is accessible by DART. If you'd be driving, parking is a breeze in their underground garage. That's free parking, I should say.

3.
It's really a very nice place to hang out and grab a beer or two or three. Like most Irish pubs it has a warm, lively, convivial atmosphere, but is also family friendly. The lighting is very much like playing in someone's home; it's not too subdued (like a restaurant), but neither does it have those assaulting bright fluorescent lights that many public places have.

4.
It is no-smoking on the inside, but if you are a smoker, there is a very nice and very large patio balcony where people can relax and smoke. If you are a non-drinker, of course they have the usual array of nonalcoholic beverages, including Buckler, etc.

5.
No table cloths, just nice solid oak tables... Oh, and the food, for pub food, is quite good; also, they have a diversified menu.
Now for the cons:
1.
As far as pubs go, it's not on the cheapest end. Here's their beer list (http://www.trinityhall.tv/PDFs/Beer.pdf)to confirm, but from my own experience as an infrequent patron I recall their beverages running somewhere between 2-3 $s for smaller sizes to about 5 $s or more for a full pint.

2.
Though he did not prohibit them, I would suggest that such a meeting would not include monster-sized games and/or loads of rpg accessories or multiple laptops. Accordingly, I would guess no giant maps or armies of minis; but there are many rpgs that people play that would require only dice, pencils, and paper, small maps, and a few other standard items like books, cards, or even poker chips. Also, he did say that board games were okay, too.

So. Please feel free to share. Would anyone be interested in some gaming in such a venue?

I realize it's a long shot, but I thought I would try nonetheless.

...

Tamburlain
07-01-2009, 08:40 AM
No takers...

Dimthar
07-01-2009, 10:29 AM
I am all in for drinking and discussing RPG.

Gaming in a Bar / Restaurant? Never felt comfortable ...

Tamburlain
07-01-2009, 12:36 PM
I am all in for drinking and discussing RPG.

Gaming in a Bar / Restaurant? Never felt comfortable ...

Two out of three--hey, I'll take what I can get! :biggrin: Even if we only end up discussing rpgs... Thanks, Dimthar. At worst, at least it would give us the opportunity to scope out the possibilities.

Personally, I wouldn't feel comfy playing in a bar or restaurant, either. But a pub (at least potentially) is quite different, bc there's all sorts of stuff going on... people playing darts, playing cards, etc.

Also, If I may ask, would you feel at all more comfortable to know that it would be gaming during an evening that the pub had set aside for its weekly poker matches? From how the proprietor described it to me, we would be amongst other people around us playing various games of Texas Hold'em, or whatever that card game is that is so popular now. As long as we left the big stuff at home, I honestly don't think we'd stand out.

Again, though, and regardless of whether it is or is not a good venue for tabletop rpgs, I do thank you for the offer of your company! And I will take you up on it.

Arkhemedes
07-01-2009, 01:29 PM
I'm going to have to agree with Dimthar. Maybe I shouldn't say this but I've always felt a bit goofy discussing dwarves and goblins anywhere in public. I almost always laugh at the jokes people make about D&D players, because usually they're pretty funny and I have no problem laughing at myself. I'm just not real keen on the idea of showing everyone that I'm the butt of those jokes.

Tamburlain
07-01-2009, 02:14 PM
I'm going to have to agree with Dimthar. Maybe I shouldn't say this but I've always felt a bit goofy discussing dwarves and goblins anywhere in public. I almost always laugh at the jokes people make about D&D players, because usually they're pretty funny and I have no problem laughing at myself. I'm just not real keen on the idea of showing everyone that I'm the butt of those jokes.

Fair enough, Ark. Would you be interested, per Dithmar, in meeting just to hang out, grab a beer, and discuss rpgs in general?

OH, and let me also ask, would it make a difference if you were playing a less stigmatized game?--i.e. not D&D with its millions of visible minis and images of high fantasy? What about a game, say, like Spirit of the Century? Or better yet, Savage Worlds, with its traditional deck of cards and poker chips?

In fact, it occurs to me that if everyone simply brought a deck of cards, they could use it to "roll" instead of dice--I mean, if dice are an issue. To all casual observers, then it would look like 6 or so people just tossing around cards, reading some books, and chit-chatting.

I'm sorry (to both you and Dithmar), as I really don't mean to press the case, but I'm just curious as to what specific deal breakers there may be, if just for knowing what to avoid with my future hare-brained ideas.

Arkhemedes
07-01-2009, 02:42 PM
Not a problem; and sure I'm totally game for hanging out, grabbing a beer, discussing RPGs, and even playing a fairly simple game with cards. However, I have to warn you that I know next to nothing about the games you've mentioned or Magic or any of the popular RPG-like card games. But I'll definitely listen to suggestions.

Tamburlain
07-01-2009, 03:04 PM
Not a problem; and sure I'm totally game for hanging out, grabbing a beer, discussing RPGs, and even playing a fairly simple game with cards. However, I have to warn you that I know next to nothing about the games you've mentioned or Magic or any of the popular RPG-like card games. But I'll definitely listen to suggestions.


Hey, cool! Thanks, Ark. At this point if we can just get 4-5 folks (including yourself and Dithmar) who would be willing to check it out in person, we can always make final decisions later. If people find that the vibe there is comfy and nonthreatening, then I would like everyone to have a say as to what games might be suitable.

I only mentioned those games bc they're ones that I play, so I recognize that, while they are in fact full-on role playing games, they also wouldn't give the instant appearance of being an rpg, per se, to casual observers. But aside from Savage Worlds and Spirit of the Century, there are many others that would also fall into this "less obtrusive" category.

Werekoala
07-01-2009, 06:59 PM
Now, now, let's not be hyper-sensitive. I imagine a LOT of talk in Irish pubs has centered on dwarves and goblins. :)

I'd love it, simply because I think we need to be seen more, in public, in places where "normals" do their thing. The hobby spends too much time in the shadows as it is, and if yahoos can get together and flip cards and move little plastic discs around on tables, then so can we. Besides, who knows, it might draw more interest and possibly more players. And don't be surprised - with the growth of things like WoW, D&D might not be as "stigmatized" as you think. Just tell them its "Warcraft on paper" if anyone asks, and I bet most of the younger crowd would have at least some idea of what you mean.

Besides, that's really all 4e is anyway... ;)

Tamburlain
07-01-2009, 08:21 PM
Besides, that's really all 4e is anyway... ;)



Doh! :)





I'd love it, simply because I think we need to be seen more, in public, in places where "normals" do their thing. The hobby spends too much time in the shadows as it is, and if yahoos can get together and flip cards and move little plastic discs around on tables, then so can we. Besides, who knows, it might draw more interest and possibly more players. And don't be surprised - with the growth of things like WoW, D&D might not be as "stigmatized" as you think. Just tell them its "Warcraft on paper" if anyone asks, and I bet most of the younger crowd would have at least some idea of what you mean.

My sentiments exactly, at least speaking for myself. But I also know that different folks have different comfort zones. It's just that simple. And I don't want anyone to feel uncomfortable. Talk about no fun...

If comfort and fun require us to tone things down by playing rpgs that won't be as apt to draw the "visual" attention that D&D might (screens, grids, minis and whatnot), then so be it. There are lots of games that would require only pens, paper, dice, playing cards maybe, and 1 or 2 books.

So in any case, we're almost there. You make three "yes" votes, Werekoala... at least for a reconnaissance meet-up. Thank you!

Dimthar
07-02-2009, 10:48 AM
I'm sorry (to both you and Dithmar), as I really don't mean to press the case, but I'm just curious as to what specific deal breakers there may be, if just for knowing what to avoid with my future hare-brained ideas.

I haven't played Netrunner CCG in ages.

Tamburlain
07-03-2009, 10:23 AM
I haven't played Netrunner CCG in ages.


Okay. cool. :) Sounds like a possibility!--at least if you'd be willing to teach me. What about rpgs, Dimthar?

I will be away for the next three weeks. Way away. I really hope you guys will still be up for meeting sometime in August.

Werekoala
07-03-2009, 10:24 AM
I'll still be around. :)

GoddessGood
07-04-2009, 10:20 AM
Trinity Hall is a neat location, very well located and situated for meetups. The food is OK and the atmo is vereh nice. Service takes forever, but hey, you're at a pub, not a Denny's.

fmitchell
07-05-2009, 01:37 AM
I might be interested, but if there's music and a lot of people I don't know if I could concentrate on an RPG.

GoddessGood
07-08-2009, 05:24 PM
There wasn't when I went, but that was during the day. I'd go again, if they promised to cook my burger and not just point it at the grill :)

talysian
07-10-2009, 04:31 PM
I've spent a bit of time @ Trinity it tends on the Weekend nights to be fairly busy, I've been in there for lunch a couple of times on Sunday Afternoon and it hasn't been to bad noise wise. I so wish I could join in on this but my wife and I are allready comitted to 3 games a week. And need one day off for chores... Bah

Enjoy the great location, drinks and food, and a lot of times bad service!!!

MysticAges
07-18-2009, 03:11 PM
I am interested - this is pretty close to where I live too.

Monday evenings can be tough though, since I have to get up early on Tuesdays.

We could even try a more bar friendly game like the Adventures of Baron Munchausen. No dice. More of a "over-the-top" storytelling back and forth... with a few coins and plenty of opportunity for beer/alcohol imbibing. There might be other alternatives too - something like Precis Intermedia's diceless system (Active Exploits, I think) or what not.

Keep me updated.

Werekoala
07-18-2009, 05:07 PM
Munchausen is fun. Played that with the SJGames guys at GenCon in 2001. Definitely a good drinking game. :)

Tamburlain
07-27-2009, 05:02 PM
Hi there, everyone.

For anyone interested, if you could please RSVP (on this thread or privately) for meeting at Trinity Hall in Dallas on Monday, August 10. I was thinking of showing up some time between 7:30 PM and 8:00 PM.

Is this an okay time?

This meeting will not involve gaming; it will be only for purposes of meeting people, socializing, checking out the venue, and possibly organizing an upcoming game (or more). So, if you are a person who doesn't think you would feel comfortable playing a game in this setting, please consider this invitation as a kind of reconnaissance evening... where I hope people may be willing to stop by and enjoy some conversation.

Looking forward to meeting many of you!

Arkhemedes
07-27-2009, 05:38 PM
I could probably swing it somehow, though the week before or the week after would work better for me. I'm on call every other week and that week happens to fall on my on call week. However, it wouldn't be too difficult for me to switch one night of on call.

My other problem is that I have my weekly game night on Tuesdays and I usually spend Monday nights preparing for it. But there again, I can work around this. I'll just have to get busy earlier in the weekend and work on it.

I do want to get with you guys on this thing though. So if this day works for everyone else, I'll just do what I have to and make some adjustments in my schedule. Anyway, there's my two cents.

Tamburlain
07-27-2009, 06:02 PM
I could probably swing it somehow, though the week before or the week after would work better for me. I'm on call every other week and that week happens to fall on my on call week...

I do want to get with you guys on this thing though. So if this day works for everyone else, I'll just do what I have to and make some adjustments in my schedule. Anyway, there's my two cents.

Ah. Well, Monday Aug. 3 would be fine for me, as well (same time). Depending on others' schedules, I'd be willing to make it a two-Monday offer. Thanks for your interest, Arkhemedes.

Arkhemedes
07-27-2009, 06:11 PM
August 3rd would actually be great for me because, if things work out like I expect, my group should be in between campaigns or at least close to it. Let's see what others have to say about it and see if we get enough interested people for that day.

Werekoala
07-27-2009, 08:40 PM
Pencil me in.

Tamburlain
07-28-2009, 07:53 AM
Okay, cool. Thanks, Werekola! Including myself, that means four confirmed.

Arkhemedes
08-01-2009, 01:28 PM
I'm assuming we're on for Monday then. So I guess now might be a good time to ask: How do I get there? Can you give me a street address or better yet directions or an easily spotted landmark nearby? I'll be coming from Bedford btw.

Tamburlain
08-01-2009, 02:32 PM
Hi, Ark. Yes, I am going to put up a second post later this eve., but I haven't decided where best to post it. For now, though, I can say that I will be there both nights; that is, on Monday, Aug. 3 (night after tomorrow) sometime around 7:30 PM, give or take 10 minutes, and also on Monday, Aug. 10 at the same time.

So far, I have 5 people confirmed for Monday the 10th, and 3 confirmed for Monday the 3rd. (Ark, for this coming Monday, that's you, me, and my wife as far as I can tell, though more may RSVP.) Again, I will post more details this evening with some suggestions as to how you may recognize our table, etc., and I will include the final head-count later tomorrow night. Lastly, to anyone who responds here via PM, I will be happy to include my cell phone number, too.

As for the pub, the address, phone no., and link are as follows:

Trinity Hall Pub (http://www.trinityhall.tv/)
5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, Texas 75206
(214)-887-3600

Note: The pub is located in the North side of Mockingbird Station (http://www.mockingbirdstation.com/), upstairs. The station is a large outdoor mall-residential area, wedged between the local DART light-rail station, Mockingbird Lane, and highway 75. It really is its own best landmark, though it might also help to know that Mockingbird Lane, where Mockingbird Station is located, is the same exit from 75 as Southern Methodist University; SMU is on the West side of 75, whereas Mockingbird Station is on the East side of 75. There is a giant underground parking complex with plenty of free parking.

Google maps aside, if I were driving from anywhere west of Dallas, here is what I would do:

1. Head east toward Dallas on 30 (or 35E if coming from the northwest).
2. When approaching the city, look for the signs guiding to 75 (via Woodall Rodgers Freeway or to 75 also via R.L. Thornton Freeway).
3. Take 75 north until exiting at E. Mockingbird Lane. If traveling N. on 75, the exit and Mockingbird Station will be to your immediate right.
4. Turn right onto Mockingbird, then turn left at the first light at Homer St.--actually Homer Street is really just the entrance into Mockingbird Station.

Parking is at the end of the long drive-thru, and the Trinity Hall pub is upstairs just next to the Angelika Theater.

Hope to see you there!

Arkhemedes
08-04-2009, 08:44 AM
Had a good time last night. It was great meeting you guys. Really looking forward to meeting up with you again, even if we never do any actual RPing. Heck, it was just fun hanging out in Dallas again, which is something I haven't done in a long time. Even the drive to and from was kind of nice. No problems at all.

Tamburlain
08-04-2009, 05:28 PM
Had a good time last night. It was great meeting you guys. Really looking forward to meeting up with you again, even if we never do any actual RPing. Heck, it was just fun hanging out in Dallas again, which is something I haven't done in a long time. Even the drive to and from was kind of nice. No problems at all.

Yes, it was a nice time! :) And you're right, even if no one wants to conduct actual games there, it's a good place just to hang out and socialize.

I have to admit... I think the the fact that poker was being played across a few tables contributed to a game-friendly atmosphere. And it wasn't too noisy or crowded like it can be on weekends.

fmitchell
08-04-2009, 07:16 PM
Thirded.

I can imagine running a game there, although as I said last night maybe not Cthulhu or Kult.

Cantankerous DM
08-06-2009, 09:49 AM
This sounds very encouraging. I was wanting to attend, but work is frantic during late summer. I can't make the 10th but would be interested in seeing any future ones if you still keep them planned. (I think that makes sense...i.e. would like to attend when work dies down, if you are still doing them)

Tamburlain
08-06-2009, 06:26 PM
This sounds very encouraging. I was wanting to attend, but work is frantic during late summer. I can't make the 10th but would be interested in seeing any future ones if you still keep them planned. (I think that makes sense...i.e. would like to attend when work dies down, if you are still doing them)

Yes, of course! The more the merrier at this stage. The plan is to take an informal poll of any and all who attend at least one of the two Monday night get-togethers. Then, if there is enough support, people can organize into one or more groups; each "game group" can organize its own schedule. I know that I plan to offer to GM one rpg campaign (of the four or five I have listed on my blog), but there is no way to tell yet if anyone will be interested.

Of course, we can always continue to meet for fun and conversation, even if there isn't enough support to play games.

In any case, stay tuned for a recap after the 10th. :)