dungeons and dragons tavern

Here ye, here ye, slap my ass and roll a natural 20. The Paladin Cam Sherrill (that’s me) and my editor, Brady the Barbarian, hath brought the Esquire Gamer Zone to its rightful place: the Dungeons and Dragons tavern. Yes, the rumors are true. Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, the long-awaited film adaptation of the tabletop role-playing game, opened a pop-up bar at San Diego Comic-Con this week. Obviously, we secured an invite to the pop-up venue Wednesday night, where we could get sloshed on grog and pickpocket fellow patrons. Ye hath been warned: this be an unbearable report, from an unbearable duo, in a magical land.

Upon entering the Dungeons and Dragons tavern, which Paramount clearly built to hype up March’s great nerding of stars Regé-Jean Page and Chris Pine, we knew our journey would be a treat. After a coastal trek, having somehow fought off the horrifying, 14-feet-tall brick beast of the Mushroom Kingdom (don’t ask), it was time for our two heroes to kick their feet up and dive headfirst into excellent partying in the far land known only as Diego of San. Rest assured, friends, if the actual Dungeons and Dragons movie is anything like the tavern, it’ll be a rocking, hilarious, self-aware, and—most importantly!—a fun trip.

You should know this up front: a common theme of the day was me, a sincere and innocent being, being treated by nearly everyone I encountered as a troublemaker. My neighbor on on the plane called me such, and at a Severance experience, which damn near recreates the show’s entire offices, an actor playing a Lumon employee singled me out and gave me a secret keycard. Our bar outing was no different. Upon entering, the host, who was totally in character, called me a drunkard. “This is your third time here this week!” she berated. “You don’t remember me?” Sure, OK, convincing, but I was getting tired of paid Comic-Con actors fucking with me. Until, of course, we stepped foot into the second coming of the Rainforest Cafe.

I shit you not: the team behind Dungeons and Dragons rigged the bar so that it would rumble like hell and fill with smoke whenever a dragon appeared on a massive video screen at the front. (We were supposed to infer that the tavern was under attack.) It was exactly like the Rainforest Cafe’s signature thunderstorm, which replays every 20 minutes. As for the menu: Dragon Brew, which was more or less an adult Ecto Cooler, and mojito jello shots. Few tables at this place, by the way. Mostly barrels. The servers at the tavern are all actors in on the joke, too, wearing thick eyeliner and knee-high boots. The music? Emo, pop-punk, early-’00s alt-rock. Also known as my perfect vibe.

In this land of fantasy, drinking from glow-in-the-dark mugs, rocking to The Offspring, I was in heaven and ready to die. I even stole a glass! One was later given to me. Whoops. Guess I deserved the troublemaker label after all. Anyway, If Honor Among Thieves is half as cool as this joint, it’ll be a hit. In the meantime, I’ll see you around, weary adventurer. Save a grog for me.

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