Organizing a regulars’ table

Stammtisch Some time ago I was asked by an old friend if I would like to participate in a regulars’ table focused on the RPG hobby. He already had decided on a location and was looking for people who might be interested in helping to organize the whole thing. I was hesitant at first but after a while the idea grew on my and I agreed to help him.

The basic idea is that we meet every month or so in the basement vault of the Villa Konthor (see the link above for some photos) where we then talk about roleplaying games, RPG news, the gaming scene and related topics. We also plan to have two set topics for each meeting. On our first meeting on March 16th I will introduce the new Dragon Age boxed set and Dungeonslayers to the attending gamers. In later meetings we want to talk about RPG blogs, Microlite gaming, and other subjects of interest.

Most of the attendees for the first meeting will probably be close friends of the guy who approached me, but basically everyone interested in RPGs may attend. What really surprised me, that certain topics we discuss on the RPG Bloggers Network for example on an almost daily basis are totally unknown to most “regular” gamers. Even my old friend, who recently joined a major German RPG publisher as freelancer didn’t know most of the games I am writing about in this blog. I have to admit I didn’t really expect that.

In a way that realization strengthened my decision to help him organize this regulars’ table and spread the word about games I love and the hot topics of the RPG blogosphere outside of the internet in the real world.

If you are interested to learn more about the planned regulars’ table, check out the site we created for that project. But please note that the site is entirely in the German language. You’ve been warned! 😉

P.S.: I am not sure if the English “regular’s table” is really the correct translation for the German Stammtisch, but it’s the closest I could find. A related term is possibly the Spanish tertulia.

Michael Wolf is a German games designer and enthusiast best known for his English language role-playing games blog, Stargazer's World, and for creating the free rules-light medieval fantasy adventure game Warrior, Rogue & Mage. He has also worked as an English translator on the German-language Dungeonslayers role-playing game and was part of its editorial team. In addition to his work on Warrior, Rogue & Mage and Dungeonslayers, he has created several self-published games and also performed layout services and published other independent role-playing games such as A Wanderer's Romance, Badass, and the Wyrm System derivative Resolute, Adventurer & Genius, all released through his imprint Stargazer Games. Professionally, he works as a video technician and information technologies specialist. Stargazer's World was started by Michael in August 2008.

8 thoughts on “Organizing a regulars’ table”

  1. What a great idea!

    “regular’s table” is not a common phrase in English so I'm guessing something is being lost in translation though the phrase certainly isn't wrong.

    "Regulars" is generally applied to people who visit a pub most days and have a preferred place to sit. But this misses out the focused discussion aspect.

    Maybe a better term might be a "roundtable" –… – but this probably misses the meeting-up regularly aspect of it.

    Either way, a great idea.
    .-= Chris Tregenza´s last blog ..D&D Player’s Strategy Guide: A More Thoughtful Look =-.

  2. I don't think the wording is that far off. Stammtisch is the table where the pub regulars meet almost daily. And usually these people discuss over daily news, politics etc.

    Roundtable is probably another good fit (or close miss), but since we want to meet in a pub, I thought "regulars' table" was close enough.

    And I really hope this will work as planned. Strengthening the local gaming community is probably a good idea.

  3. I think it's a great idea to organize this kind of open meetings, as it helps to build a local community. The advantage is, that you can meet people in a neutral environment while still keeping it gaming related. You don't have to invite strangers to your home or visit people, of whom you know next to nothing.

    I did pretty much the same thing for boardgames here in Frankfurt and it has been a huge success with over 70 people currently registered in our forum (of which, I have to admit, at least a third never turned up at one of our meetings). We have been meeting since Fall 2007 and while we started with a monthly schedule, we quickly went on to meet everyother week and since last fall, our meetings take place on a weekly schedule.
    Of course this was comparatively easier to do, as we have a dedicated boardgame café here in Frankfurt, which of course is the ideal venue for something like that, and it's of course easy to actualy play boardgames at such a meeting – not so with RPGs. Because of that I really like your idea, to have a small presentation each evening. It kind of focuses the purpose.
    Good luck with your project and keep us posted! 🙂

  4. "regulars table" is indeed a german thing. The closest thing I can think of in the US would simply be "breakers club" or just a hobby club. I used to attend a monthly meeting for people in the DC area biotech industry. It met at 6:30 AM before work, and people would show up and take turns presenting, etc. It was very social, and immensly helpful to everyone involved. I woudl assume a later in the day club for gamers would be awesome. Too bad I don't live near you – I would definately go.
    .-= jonathan´s last blog ..Open Game Table Volume 2 – Peer Review Closed. Reviewers Revealed! =-.

  5. I'm not German, but I can read and write quite a bit of Deutsch and I believe that Stammtisch is an accurate translation of regular's table and vice versa.

    Also, the history of public community places, particularly drinking establishments, Stammtisch referred to a table for gathering among those who would regard each other as peers, at least in the "informal public" sense.

    So, yeah, that sounds convoluted and a better (longer and more thorough than a comment) description of this context is in Ray Oldenburg's The Great Good Place, which I'm damn sure supports your rendition of the word(s).
    .-= Matthew Arcilla´s last blog ..Burninating the Azeroth =-.

  6. I emailed a friend of mine who works as a German -> English translator for how she would translate it.


    My quick answer is, there is no decent translation, because the concept doesn't exist in English.

    Our get togethers at Clarets [a pub] is like a Stammtisch. We've been meeting up primarily for the beer and the company and to talk about any old rubbish for more than 15 years. We have often bemoaned the fact that if we'd been doing this in a German pub we'd have long since had our reserved table where no one else was allowed to sit on a Sunday night.

    Stargazer is not running a regulars' table (in the English sense of regulars), as the people attending might not otherwise ever go to this particular pub. I would call what he is doing a pub meeting.


    Pub Meeting might be the best translation. Certainly most Brits would recognize that any meeting in pub would combine the informal, social aspects of pubs with the focus of a meeting.
    .-= Chris Tregenza´s last blog ..D&D Deathmatch Fun and Games =-.

  7. Thanks, Chris. I don't think I will change the post's title (in order not to screw with permalinks etc.) but the next time I talk about the "Stammtisch" I will refer to "pub meeting" instead.

  8. My group of friends have something similar, though not focused on RPG's only. We call it Geek Dinner. There is a group of 8 of, all gamers. We either have dinner at a restaurant, or we cook dinner at someone's house.

    The topics of discussion are all things Geek: RPGs, Video Games, Computers, 40k, etc.

    Its a great time to relax in the company of fellow geeks, and speak about those things we are so passionate about.

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