ReRoll Tavern: ‘Where everyone knows your name and your character’s name’
Stories in some of the best fantasy novels and movies—and tabletop game sessions—start with the characters meeting, often in a tavern. These cozy, friendly places to rest, recuperate and plan bring the intrepid heroes together to plot and plan their next adventures.
In the real world, that happens in grade-school cafeterias and online chat rooms. But what happens once you’re all grown up and want a face-to-face place to meet new friends and play the games you love?
That’s where places like ReRoll Tavern come in. Located at 2368 Armour Road in Kansas City, it's "the place where everyone knows your name and your character’s name,” says general manager and activity director Donald Lewis.
KantCon is honored this year to have ReRoll Tavern as a sponsor and locally owned business for the convention July 14-16, 2023 at the Overland Park Convention Center.
ReRoll Tavern has it all, according to Lewis:
a board-game library with over 500 titles
a Dungeons & Dragons library, with maps, miniatures and reference books
a full bar and kitchen, with signature burgers, pizza and nacho offerings
a private gaming room
and a team of professional gamers on hand to help facilitate a great gaming experience.
Play some D&D with ReRoll Tavern Dungeon Masters at the convention. And learn more about the tavern and Lewis below.
When/how did you get into tabletop gaming?
I’ve always been a gamer. My dad started me on tabletop miniatures and painting as soon as I could hold a brush, and board games were a nightly family activity. As I grew older, I remember discovering my dad’s first-edition Dungeons & Dragons books in the basement and being told I wasn’t old enough to play that game yet. That more than anything spurred my fascination of whatever this “forbidden game” might be, and I’ve been an RPG player ever since.
What made you decide to turn the hobby into a business?
My business partner, Ed Schmalz, is the brains behind ReRoll Tavern. This is the second board game bar he has founded, and I’ve been fortunate enough to join him in running both operations. We try to recreate that feeling of gaming in a cozy basement but extended out to a community lounge and gathering space. Ed and I are friends from college, so when he started running these operations, I was in on the ground floor to join his team.
Is there a product that you have out now or are going to release this year that you’re particularly excited about?
We’ve been fortunate to partner with local artists who have created some really cool, fun designs for us to work with on ReRoll-exclusive retail items. Most recently, we’ve published our first in a series of Dragon Dice Hoard pieces, this one on an exclusive CCG (collectible card game) playmat. This design will eventually make its way onto a T-shirt as will a second design in the series slated for the fall.
What will you have at KantCon that our attendees should check out?
We will be running a series of Intro to D&D Adventurers League games, each one with one of our house dungeon masters running the show. These games are designed with new players in mind, and we make a point of supplying all the necessary materials, from dice and miniatures down to pencils and character sheets. We hope to remove that entry barrier to D&D, the perception that you need to know someone who already knows the game to play. We will be that “someone” for everyone!
What’s one of your favorite things about KantCon?
The community aspects are always the draw for me. Every year, I can’t make it 10 paces on the convention floor without being stopped by someone I know by face or name or business connection. It can easily take me two hours to cross the room with all these conversations and connections.
Is there anything you’re looking forward to playing at KantCon?
I’m a forever Dungeon Master at heart and get more joy out of running the adventure than playing as a character. I’m looking forward to wrangling new players through what might be their first tabletop adventure and perhaps even landing a TPK!