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Saturday, May 28, 2016

On Monday, The Tavern Will Have Served Beer and Sausages for 7 Years

Yep, on Memorial day, May 31st, Tenkar's Tavern will turn 7 years old. Seven years already. Holy shit.

While heavily focused on the OSR, we've also ventured into Kickstarters - the good, the bad and the downright evil. Some indie games, some random thoughts.

So, it occurred to me earlier today. With all this talk about women in gaming, just how many read The Tavern? Damn if I know. It occurred to be that The Tavern's Facebook Community page could give an idea. Lets see. 476 members. How many can I identify as women? Six, although one is the daughter of Gary himself.

Still, six women (maybe more where names are initials and the graphic gives no hint). We're looking at less than 2%. Let's assume the numbers are screwy and double them. Less than 4% (closer to 3%)

Is it me? I don't think so.

Is it the OSR? More likely. I'd say NTRPG Con comes in between 10-15% women attendees, many of them with their spouses.

Why is that? Is it that old "men are from Mars and women are from Venus" shtick? We're wired differently and enjoy different games and genres?

Apparently so. Its simply the nature of Nature.

Some women do enjoy "kicking ass" as my wife so gleefully just reminded me. Next thing I know she'll take kickboxing up again.

Women, ladies, girls, butt kicking goddesses of goodness - whatever they want to call themselves, are always welcome at The Tavern. I, and The Tavern itself, are true to our very own nature and have been for seven years.

So please, come into The Tavern for the beer and sausages, but stay for the conversation and the community.


  1. I think it's more that "we" have not been open to women in gaming. I have read several articles about women being threatened, harassed and groped at game stores. If women don't feel welcome as they enter the hobby, they won't go down the rabbit hole far enough to find the Tavern.

    1. I think what you are quoting is the exception.

      The one article I read was embellished at least. At worst, highly fictional. I say that after 20 years in law enforcement and supervising detectives since 2004.

      The sheer number of incidents claimed by the individual in the article I read as all occurring to here is statistically improbable. I'd have a better chance picking the Powerball numbers.

      I'm not saying it doesn't happen.

      But saying "we" and not specifically stating "aberrant individuals that need to be corrected and / or arrested" is utter bullshit.

      Unless you are saying you're a groper Jayson. Because I am certainly not part of the "we" you are referring to.

    2. I went Googling, and found several examples. Then I went to a forum I frequent and found this:


      Read reply #4. Written by a woman and exactly my point. I am not a "fondler." But, in my younger days, I may have been an enabler by turning a blind eye.

      I just think that "we" (males, probably white, who have been playing RPGs 10+ years) should be attempting to expand the hobby. And I know the culture can be unnerving to women.

    3. Hello, Erik. I've reading here for about 2 years and it's become a regular stop for me. I just wish the beer and sausages really did come with a visit! It would be the best site EVAH.

      Now, I'm not much of a commenter but this one pushed my buttons. I, too, am Law Enforcement (though not retired like our esteemed host) and when I read these accounts, my BS alarm pegs.

      I'm not saying it doesn't happen. But it stretches the bounds of credibility because much of this supposed stuff isn't just unwanted attention, it's arrestable, criminal behavior. I just have a hard time believing that so many women would be victim to this kind of thing and not seek police or some other official intervention.

      Also, in 30 years of gaming, I have only witnessed harrassment of a female gamer once. And it was handled so quickly and appropriately, by the other non-offenders at the table (myself included) I was shocked. That guy never played in any group I know of ever again.

      We presently have two women in our group and everyone has a blast. I also had a chance to game at a nearby Sci-fi Con (they had a room of Pick-up games) and a woman GM taught me and another woman how to play Feng Shui (we were the only two players who knew nothing of the game). Another great time.

      Now, if we want to talk about issues keeping women from joining our games, we could always address the elephant in the room:

      Personal hygiene...

    4. Apparently being born a "white male" is a new version of original sin. We are guilty for what we do, what we don't do, what we fail to do and in this case, what we haven't observed. All the words ills are our fault or some such.

      As Emmmett says above, we are not saying it doesn't happen, but I do believe the amount of such harassment being assumed based on the stories to hit social media is greatly inflated. Beyond even that, I think it has little if anything to do with the lack of women in the OSR.

      If anything, the OSR is composed of older gamers, more likely to instill old school justice on site than to ignore it. We are fathers and grandfathers ourselves and the ladies being potentially harassed would be treated as if they were our own kin.

      Of course, I can in no way speak for the Pathfinder community ;)

    5. Yes, being a white male is the new original sin. Even here in Germany, I hear a lot of that crap. My reaction is always the same.

      I refuse to check my privilege and continue gaming. I call BS on almost everything coming from the SJW corner.

  2. I can't pinpoint the why (just yet; I've been trying for years). Why is it that when I talk about half-orcs in space trading blaster fire with tentacled aliens from Gamma Minor, I get the look. The one that implies I'm embarrassing the human race with my foolish man-child geekery. Yet, if she wants to go on and on about diaper bags, vampire soap opera dramas, and complaining about her own self-imposed cleaning regimen, I'm supposed to take her interests with the utmost seriousness. Why?

    I've dated a few women who understood RPGs and geek culture, but those relationships never lasted long (for other reasons). Those women who do find their way to a game table... I think it's only natural for the biggest, most popular, and shiniest (high production values) RPGs to attract them first. Maybe a couple years down the line they'll discover the OSR.

    1. Venger,

      I bought Crimson Dragon Slayer recently and I really enjoyed it!

  3. Alert. This post has hit the Fembot's radar. Alert. Expect backlash at convention of simply ignoring you. Alert. That is all... Silly topic

  4. Way off topic, and I may be a bit late to the game but I just discovered a guy by the name of Micahel Prescott. You probably already know about him, but in case you don't, his stuff is outstanding. Like some of Dyson's Delves but kicked up a notch:


    He's got a Patreon (which I signed up for after reading throught two of his free offerings). Really, really good stuff.

  5. At risk of diving into the mud...

    It's not necessarily just groping and unwanted physical contact (though that is also a problem). Greatly contributing to the factor is smaller stuff, mostly in the verbal realm which if others tried to instill "old school justice" into would end up being the ones arrested instead. Sometimes it's creepy gamers trying to insert sexual fantasies into the game without any forewarning. Sometimes it's the guy who likes to insert bigoted slurs as "good-natured insults" but he's 'only joking' and complains about other gamers having thin skins for getting bothered by them.

    Many of these people might be friends, family, or even respected voices in geek culture, and people don't want to speak out because a.) they don't want to end up slandering someone's reputation; b.) don't want to summon a horde of angry fans onto their social lives; c.) don't want to look like a drama queen or a jerk with a vendetta. "good men doing nothing" and so on and so forth.

    You can just as easily drive someone away from a table, gaming store, or other social event without doing anything physical. And given the recent reactionary backlash against diversity topics manifesting as "fighting against cultural Marxism" can make some (not all) gamers from said diverse groups asking if they really want to join greater geek communities when said communities might foster people who view them as unwanted outsiders.

    And that's all I have to say about this for now.