What do Critical Role, Joe Mangeneillo, Restless Moons brewing, and downtown Cartersville, Georgia have in common? Cool tees and D&D.
I recently took a road trip from New York state to Georgia to visit family in Cartersville, a small town outside of Atlanta. The first night of this trip found me exploring downtown Harrisonburg Virginia on a quest to find craft beer and good food. I stumbled upon a welcoming place called @restlessmoons brewing, bellied up to the bar, and engaged with the barkeep. I sipped my way through several pints as we conversed about beer, society, and current events. This is a great place with fine brews and well worth the stop in Harrisonburg.
A young gent made his way to the bar and I immediately noticed the awesome tee he’s wearing: A black and white Orcus image sold by @JoeManganiello Death Saves merchandise company. Yeah awesome, so I have a chat with him about our favorite game and leave the pub with a good feeling about Restless Moon beers and the cool customers it feeds.
Next stop is Cartersville, Georgia. This place has a hip downtown that sports a thriving farm market. My down-to-earth kin @footehillsfarmhouse sell their wares at market each week—garlic, soaps, eggs, lamb, rabbit and such. While shopping, I spot a young couple making their way through the crowd, and what do I see them wearing? Two Critical Role tee shirts. Damn, this town is cool, and not just because of @OHCCartersville, its super cool cigar shop/brewpub or @cartersvillefarmersmarket. It’s got gamers, too!
My visit came to an end far too soon and I found myself at a Panera to grab some breakfast before my long haul back to NY. While placing my order with a pleasant woman named Kennedy, she made a comment about the d20 shirt I was wearing. We strike up a conversation about gaming and I mention that I create content for D&D and she asks me the name of the company. I’m impressed with her interest and tell The Eldritch Press, and I am floored when she says excitedly that she just backed The Gates of the Shadowmage Kickstarter! The odds of meeting one of the 212 worldwide backers of this project is staggeringly small. I am humbled by how excited she seems and exhilarated by my first flush of recognition and I leave for my drive home with a full belly and a large smile on my face.
This event made the world seem small. I realized this incredible RPGing community is far more widespread than I ever imagined. I grew up playing D&D in near secrecy. Few had even heard of the game and most that did held a negative impression. Now, it is everywhere and when I fly my flag of nerdom it is hailed as a badge of coolness. Ah, how times have changed. Long may this new order live!