Dungeons & Dragons Takes Manhattan
I went on a fantastical adventure in Manhattan in New York City. The Cauldron is a magical gastropub experience located on 47 Stone St., New York City. It’s a pub catering to the nerdier elements of the city. One of the first sights to greet me as I entered the establishment was two young ladies playing Operation. That’s right, the game with a red-nosed guy who lights up and buzzes annoyingly when you fail to remove a piece from him without touching the sides. The Cauldron’s aesthetic is that of a magical tavern as I made my way deeper in to see a 15 foot tree in the center of the bar. This is no ordinary tree — it has beer taps coming out of it. Magical wands activate the taps so patrons of this magical place can dispense their own ale. A true beauty to behold.
As cool as the surroundings are, I wasn’t on a sightseeing trip or even visiting to participate in the potion classes they hold. Oh, no, I came for the Dungeons & Dragons. Along with sharing my experience below including a photo gallery, you can watch the first episode of Cantrips & Casters I attended live in Manhattan.
Dungeons & Dragons — from game to show
Cantrips & Casters is the brain child of Anna Hogan from The Cauldron team and Anne Richmond of the Active Player Network. Both convinced their perspective companies of the benefit to this adventure together. Casters & Cantrips is a live Dungeons & Dragons show with a six episode pilot. I was fortunate enough to catch the first episode live and in person.
Even if you can’t make it in person they stream live to Twitch. A cast of gamers with theater and performing experience was assembled to entertain with a game of 5E D&D.
I was super impressed with the game and show. The Casters & Cantrips group seems like they’ve played together for years. Before I get into more of the game there is one thing worth noting. It’s an interactive experience.
With your purchase of a $40 event ticket you get a drink and favor tokens. The favor tokens allow you to affect the game. You give them to one of the players. At a certain number of favors a player is granted a flask. Any given player can have up to 3 flasks. At what would be a fourth, their flask overflows.
1 Flask = Auto success when the player chooses to drink the flask
2 Flasks = Maximum damage or healing effect on a spell
3 Flasks = Trigger super power
4 Flask A.K.A Overflow = Same as 3 flask plus a chaos effect — the person who triggers it receives a potion on the house, plus rolls a d10 to determine chaos effect
This way the audience can interact with the game, and let me tell you we did. A lot. And in ways the players and Dungeon Master didn’t expect. You can acquire more favors by purchasing drinks known as potions off the menu as well as by ordering food. At other times the DM calls for votes from the audience by a show of wands.
Professional Dungeon Master Miles Duffield kicks off the game set in modern-day New York City. As for the rest of our adventuring party:
- Donovaine (Fire Genasi Bard): Chris Bailey
- Leiya (Half-Orc Paladin): Amy Chrzanowski
- Portia (Drow Artificer): Anne Richmond
- Jyn (Dragonborn Ranger): Dexter Warren
Other crucial members making the show run smoothly:
- Director of Photography: Deanna Amoia
- Event Coordinator for The Cauldron: Anna Hogan
Short interviews with the team are up over on the Active Players Network website. The first episode is already up on YouTube.
Casters and Cantrips Session 1: An Interactive Dungeons and Dragons Show!
The very first episode was a fun three-hour adventure in a homebrew world inspired by The Cauldron of DM Miles creation. There were magical trees, taverns, dragons, goblins, and more. Anna wanted to turn the second floor of The Cauldron into a tavern you might find in a world of Dungeons & Dragons. If you ask me, she succeeded. The first event sold outof it’s limited ticket run that took place on Oct. 7, 2019. The second one is slated for October 14. You can purchase tickets here. I was also delighted to learn their cast is a paid one. Happy to hear people are getting paid to do something they love to do.
I’d be remiss in my reporting if I didn’t mention the food and drinks are delicious. Alchoholic tea and potions that bubble over — need I say more?