For a while now I have been kicking around the idea of starting a blog for Dungeons and Dragons, fantasy roleplaying and anything that tends to come along with that, but i wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to talk about. With over a decade of experience in roleplaying games ranging from Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 to Shadowrun 5th edition and dozens of others in between, Several a few published works, and highly polarizing opinions on the nature of gaming and the those at the table I figured I would have plenty to write about, although nothing seemed to jump out at me as a writing topic, this would change in the form of a conversation about Dwarf Fortress. Aside from Dungeons and Dragons and roleplaying in general one of my biggest passions is beer. I don’t mean that I just enjoy going to beer festivals and being part of the culture, I have studied its impact on cultures, economies, even religions the world over, I have homebrewed, and taught classes on the subject.
So while discussing the role of beer within the game dwarf fortress, an essential part of the games strategy and the survivability of your dwarves. I began thinking about the environment dwarves typically live in, what ingredients and techniques would be available to them, and how their culture might influence what they brew. I plumbed through some supplements released on dwarves by Paizo and other companies to see what they had thought on the subject and after reading a few I determined that they were sort of just throwing around beer terms without a whole lot of understanding, and who can blame them? They are writers, not brewers or beer enthusiasts so it makes sense that most of the information was lore based and focused around some common words, and what they have created is perfectly fine, but I wanted more and began thinking about what other typical fantasy cultures might produce in terms of beer. This sin’t to say that its all bad or incorrect, The Midgard campaign setting from Kobold press has a wonderful interpretation of Ninkasi and a decent amount of focus on how alcohol effects the cultures and religion of those who worship her, something I want to talk about a lot more in depth later on. So, after mulling it over I began thinking about different types of alcohol like wine and spirits, tavern etiquette, drinking songs, and so much more that could be expanded upon within a fantasy universe. This is what led to my decision to start the blog “Taverns and Tankards” and explore alcohol and merry-making in fantasy roleplaying games.
Through this blog I hope to bring some new life (and some realism) to the brews of the fantasy worlds by focusing on how different cultures, religions, and races enjoy everyone’s favorite alcoholic beverage. Expect beer styles, festivals, drinking songs, sample taverns and publicans, dungeons, encounters, and much more centered around alcohol and whatever else happens to spring to mind.