Archive for the 'Places I Play' Category

Day 55: Bullshit #2, Organizers should Organize.

September 20, 2009

So, basically, I tried to be nice while I was there but D&D game day at the Aurora Public Library was essentially a disaster.  I had come out to try to meet new gamers, and I did, so in that way it was a success.

But here’s some tips if you’re organizing a game event.

  1. Give a shit about whether anyone besides you has any fun.
  2. You’re expected to try to make the game better, not be a distraction.
  3. Don’t invite someone who you know will be a disruption at the table.
  4. If it’s a public library, reserve a room.
  5. A constant stream of talking might be a problem.

Now here’s the “are you fucking kidding me?” bit.   So the event was booked at the Aurora Public Library, but the organizer decided that we didn’t need to book a room.  This means the librarians have to come and threaten to kick you out – not the best atmosphere to introduce new players and make a first impression.  “Hi, I like Roleplaying Games and I’ve set up an event.  First, I’m going to make you very uncomfortable.  If you get excited about something, make sure to keep it to yourself because we need to be quiet.  I’ve also talked over the GM, disrespected the other players and the game, and acted like I’m 5 years old.  By the way, I’ll spend a good part of the game scolding my son who’s being almost as obnoxious as I am.  I don’t care whether you’re having fun.  Want to invite me to your game?”

So this manages to be Toronto Gaming Bullshit, #2, totally unplanned.

Day 32: The Yellow Griffin review

August 28, 2009

So here’s a place to game:  The Yellow Griffin pub, out on the west side, near Runnymede station.

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(That picture’s from back in March 2008, but the place really hasn’t changed at all)

The location is very easy for transit, being basically right next to the subway.  If you’re coming by car, parking is a bit of a pain; I tend to go up one of the streets until I find a spot, and walk back a few blocks.

Here’s a map with a link:

Yellow Griffin

The Yellow Griffin hosts most of TAG’s monthly meetups, and it’s a really good venue for that.  We usually get the whole upstairs to ourselves, which is nice, although it means we don’t get much attention from the waitstaff.  That’s as much a property of the gaming as it is of the staff – we’re there to game, not get wasted, so we don’t order copious amounts of alcohol.

It’s a restaurant and bar, so you can get your food and drinks there while you game, but since it’s a restaurant and bar, there is an expectation that you buy your food and drinks there.

On the whole, the Yellow Griffin has been very accomodating of TAG and a good place to meet people and game.  The venue can hold about 30 people at max (just the upstairs, mind).

Most of all, it’s where I’ve made many friends.

Day 28: Venue Quandary

August 24, 2009

Finding a nice place to sit down and play a game in Toronto is harder than you think.
Most public places are parks, and most places where it’s nice to sit are places where they expect you to buy drinks and food.
Does anyone know good places to sit down and play a game, for free?

Day 26: Cedarvale Park

August 22, 2009

The last TAG picnic occured at Cedarvale park, so here’s another “Places to Play” entry.

Cedarvale Park is a very nice urban park in Toronto.  I enjoyed playing there a lot – we watched LARPers boffer fighting, and played Werewolves on the hill near the tennis courts.  There’s also baseball diamond, an off-leash area for dogs, and lots of space for little kids to run around (although watch out for the incline with the train tracks which runs through the middle of the park).

Links to google maps

Links to google maps

Most of the pictures on Google images don’t do it justice, and neither do ours, but here it is:

Tag Picnic pic

Like any park, Cedarvale probably isn’t the place for games involving minis or really much of anything that can blow away.  Transit access is not bad, not great, and there is some parking around the arena as long as there’s no event on there.

Ryerson’s Hub Cafeteria

July 30, 2009

Ryerson’s Hub cafeteria is located inside Jorgensen Hall at the Ryerson University in Toronto’s downtown.  The university is close to Yonge Street, a short walk north east of the Eaton Centre.

Here’s a picture of Jorgensen Hall:

And here’s the inside of the hub:

Normally it doesn’t look like this, though.  It has people at the various tables, and they are studying or chatting or doing studenty things.

The Hub has the best access to transportation of any of the places I game in Toronto, because Jorgensen Hall is smack dab between Dundas and College station on the TTC.  That’s a help when I have my long commute back to Newmarket.  The best time of the year is June-July, when there’s practically no students at all.  Other times of the year are fine too, but you can’t expect to have the place to yourself (it is a university student cafeteria after all).  Exam time gets especially buys with study groups and so on, but even then I’ve never been unable to game as planned.

Now, occasionally there are serious business conference kind of things, which means the Hub is reserved and you can’t use it.  When that happens there’s some fallback options, especially the comfy black pleather chairs that line the halls in the general vicinity.

The thing I like least about the Hub is the fact that the tables don’t get wiped down very often, and the vending machines aren’t stocked that well (and they’re pretty expensive).  There’s also no food vendors in the building itself (except if you’re a student during one of the terms) so you may want to pick up something on Yonge street (a block away) before you head in.

The Hub is one of my default places for gaming in Toronto.

Pros: Downtown, good transit access, central for a lot of student-age gamers.

Cons: Public place, tables not that clean