The Bear Tavern is the original player-run tavern community within Shroud of the Avatar. Founded in April 2013, the community has grown from an idea to a steadily expanding group of both guests and staff.
The Bear Tavern is a project which focuses heavily on the social aspect of Shroud of the Avatar. The intent is to create an open, active community which provides everyone the opportunity to socialize with fellow players. SOTA promises to provide an amazing social online environment, and so we were interested to see how far we can encourage it. Not only that, our intent is to create almost neutral ground, to help provide some fairly unusual player experiences.
During initial discussions on how such a community could be put together, the obvious choice was to create an inn or tavern where the player-base could pitch up whenever they wanted. Taverns tend to be a prominent location in many stories within a fantasy setting, so it seemed a good choice for a in-game meeting place for players from a variety of backgrounds.
Since our founding in April 2013, we’ve formed a small-yet-happy band with all the resources you’d expect of a pre-alpha group. We’re well on the way to being one of the few on the map with a suitable Tavern building, with a slowly building Tavern community base. While everyone prepares for release (and beyond in those early days), we would love to provide a home for everyone to chat, gossip and scheme over how they plan to become obscenely rich. Again, we plan to offer this irrespective of background, guild affiliation or play-style, acting as a bit of a melting pot for the SOTA community at large.
We ultimately exist to provide an eventual service. The vast majority of those who are likely to visit the Tavern in the future (if we get it right) are going to be in the form of customers, who are going to expect all the usual things that come with any tavern, well, anywhere (namely entertainment and beer). We intend to provide both in spades, by again interacting with crafters and bard-y types who would like to get involved. On top of this, we’d like to help provide a prominent place for whatever community we find ourselves in, offering a wide range of events from fairs, to markets, to event spaces (can you get married in a pub?)
This all requires planning and organization, so The Bear Tavern does operate a "guild” core which will take care of the running of the Tavern. This is mainly in the form of barkeepers, cooks, entertainers and a few ‘heavies’ to keep the place relatively civil. Chances are that running this sort of establishment is going to take a never-ending supply of resources, so we’ll be keeping an eye on what crafts and trades we’d be looking to employ. As a rule, everyone gets a say in how the tavern is run, and so we maintain a ‘tavern council’ to ensure that things tick over as they should. We’re a small bunch, and while we’re not here to take over the world, we’re here to have fun and keep the place interesting.
We maintain a ‘militia’ sign-up list which allows anyone, either guilded or customer, to be on call in the event of potential tavern threat. For the most part this will take the form of something crossed between a volunteer army, a badly organized riot and a pub crawl; and is likely to feature as part of our regular dungeon crawl events. There’s no restriction on who can join, as long as members of the militia aren’t risk-adverse (i.e. not expecting to come back in one piece). Pay will be primarily issued in beer.
Things are still very much early days for SOTA, however we plan to be in as good a shape as possible for when the gates are open. We’re looking to attract future customers, tavern friends and guild recruits of all shapes in order to get the community going. So if anyone out there would like to drop by and take a moment to say a friendly hello, your guaranteed to receive a warm welcome.