A while ago I wrote about my thoughts on reading Tavern Tales (TT), and a little time after that I got to play it. Overall myself and the group had a lot of fun. The game suffers from the fact that it isn’t finished yet, so things were hard to look up. We muddled through the PDF draft but ended up using the website (which is not the latest version) so we could find things quicker. My group was wide and varied. One person was a werebear warrior, another a bear wrestler from fantasy Russia (they got along very well), another a really creepy druid, and finally a dragon man alchemist. This group was brought together by the king in hopes of having them find and end the threat of Garrosh the headless, called such because he was a two headed ettin that cut off his brother’s head because he was tired of sharing a body. Garrosh lead an army of goblinoids against the kingdom, but was moving too fast for the king’s army to catch up. So heroes were called in.
Due to the fact that I’m writing this play through a few months after the fact, I’m going to have to give you all the short version. The group discovered Garrosh was meeting with a warband of goblins known as the Boom Boyz, who rode giant beetles into battle. The group found them in an old alchemy plant deep in the heart of the forests. It use to belong to the old archmage before he was outed by the current archemage. The beetles are fed the toxic waste that the factory has laying around. This causes them to grow to huge size and if they are pierced by fire weapons, they usually explode gloriously. If you’ve seen Mad Max, imagine the war boys from the movie, but green and riding beetles instead of cars, and you have the right idea.
Our heroes snuck in as far as they could before stuff hit the fan. The powers the players wielded were ridiculous. The bear wrestler ended up Juggernaughting his way to the middle of the factory, while someone started a sales pitch for a time share in a mountain, thereby preventing the goblins from doing anything but listening. Fire and explosions abounded and in the end the heroes had the head of Garrosh the headless.
This game can not be taken as a super serious simulator. If you do that you’re going to have a bad time. Tavern Tales worked really well for a crazy, rule of cool, fantasy story telling game. If you give it a try, remember that. Playing it like a D&D game won’t work as well as a crazy fantasy game. Other than some terms being switched by the author (soak vs toughness vs armor) that lead to confusion at our table, it’s in a very playable format. Once the author gets the game finished I know I’m going to pick up a copy.
Thanks for reading and coming back again and again.