Friday, February 25, 2011

The Evolution of D&D Snacks

This Sunday I'm getting together with one of my groups to play my World of Samoth campaign.  I used to host the game at my house, because as the DM, I hate lugging all of my stuff around.

Back-in-the-Day ™ when we got together to play D&D, we did so with the requisite heavily caffeinated drinks, "Nacho Cheez" flavored orange day-glo chips, and pizza.  I hate to say that we were the stereotypical gamer geeks, but the fact is, we were playing D&D in our friend's mom's basement.  Granted, we were still in Junior High School, so that's not as bad as saying that we were doing so in our 30's.  But, still, it paints quite the picture.  Anyone observing us from a distance and not knowing who we were what exactly we were doing could pretty much guess where we fell in the social status at our school.  

The thing is, back then, I didn't get that we were just eating the same kind of food that almost every kid our age was eating.  I didn't eat like this at home, so I associated these types of foods specifically with playing D&D.  It was just part of the culture, like wearing faded black heavy-metal concert t-shirts from concerts that we'd never been to, or talking about our characters as though they were real people.  

Fast forward some 20+ years, and the state of the snacks at our D&D sessions has changed dramatically.  Catch us on any of our typical Saturday or Sunday afternoon sessions, and you'll see a table arrayed with cherry tomatoes, grapes, carrots, pita chips and hummus, homemade salsa, various artisanal cheeses, and any number of different micro-brews.  If we're really lucky, the wife of one of our friends will make this really awesome homemade oatmeal chocolate chip bread (HINT HINT).  If not, another guy in our group makes cookies, which consists of heating up Nestle Toll House pre-made cookie dough in the oven (not that there's anything wrong with that). 

If you find us on any of our all-day "one-shot" games, you'll typically see a BYO lunch followed by copious amounts of Guinness, Anchor Steam, or any other number of good beers.  That is then followed by a homemade dinner, which could be simple yet very tasty grilled burgers with dozens of assorted toppings (carmelized onions, blue cheese, bacon, heirloom tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, etc.) and the most awesome mac-n-cheese ever, or maybe spaghetti and meat sauce, or a vegetable lasagna with roasted asparagus, Swiss chard, and fennel.  All of this would be served with the best wines you've ever had.  If you don't know anything about wine, then just skip this next part.  If you do know something about wine - we once had a Saxum syrah while gaming.  Just let that sink in for a second.  We played Saxum & Sorcerers.  

I'm really looking forward to this Sunday's game.  Not only do I get to spend time with my best friends and continue running through my campaign world, but I also get to enjoy some tasty (and relatively healthy) snacks and drinks, and relax and forget about work and life and everything else that might be bothering me.

That is, all until a few weeks from now, when I get to stay up late and eat pizza again at my Friday night AD&D game.  The more things change, the more they stay the same. 

If only homes in California had basements. 

What are your snacks like?  Have they changed over the years?


  1. Wow. If I hadn't double checked your name, I would swear you were one of my crew. Personally, I never had a D&D back-in-the-day. I only recently started playing with a group composed of both newbies and veterans. Our DM is an old hat, but first time in the DM chair.

    At any rate, we're all in our 30's and your menu has some striking similarities to ours. Most of our beers are of the rooted variety. Pita chips, hummus, salsa, baby carrots and grapes find their way to every game. The last couples sessions have found cuties (little tangerine orange things) to be popular.

    Since we usually start our day around 11am, we all hit either subway or in and out (which are close to the house) for lunch and since we game till the wee hours, we break for dinner and go someplace where we can sit down and pull ourselves from the fantasy for a while, not to mention get some fresh air.

  2. @Christopher -

    Your description of snacks has even more parallels to mine!

    We also start our regular weekend game at 11am (or more precisely, 11:15am, so that one guy in the group can run through the drive-thru at McDonald's and get lunch instead of breakfast, which they serve up until 11am).

    But, the rest of the gang brings either Subway or In-N-Out!

    Not sure how many people are in your groups, but I swear we should just combine them sometime for a one-shot or something. At least we'd all like the food (although my group would insist on non-rooted beer). I'm assuming you're in California based on your consumption of In-N-Out.

  3. Yuppers. Living in the valley, just north of LA. Our group totals 6, counting the DM. We play at my house cuz I have a big table and a projector with which to do fancy pants map setups. We try to play about once a month, more if schedules permit, which isn't often.

    Our DM actually had a surprise shipped over for our next session: those D&D themed Jones sodas that should add a nice little touch to our repertoire of rations. I'm trying my hand at another little surprise based on last session's encounter: blue jell-o gelatinous cubes. Suckers kicked our collective ass last week, so it's only fair that we eat them.

    If you wanna see some of our setup, check it out here:

  4. Actually, I see you're in Pasadena. I'm in Canoga Park, so maybe a 'play date' isn't all that unheard of. Couple of my players actually live down your way.

  5. I demand an update to see if OP and Christopher got together for a game. :)

    My crew is still college-aged (most 20-30, me being always the youngest at 18), so our snacks are usually cheap tortilla chips, generic-brand cereal, and smoke. My current crew is surprisingly snack-free most of the time, unless *I* bake cookies.

    When I had parents to back up our snacks, we had sodas, chips, and popcorn.. and sometimes frozen pizza. Those were the days..

  6. Wow - you just popped into the wayback machine nearly 2 1/2 years ago! Thanks for commenting, SometimesImMerr!

    We actually never did connect up for a game. I'm thinking we should try to revisit that - my local game store has a huge gaming area we could play at.

    Thanks for sharing your snacks - I think your experiences are probably closer to the typical gamer.



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