The Fellowship of the Beard
Hello there, it’s your old friend Balbo Garibaldi with a special treat for those interested in the history of Tabletop Beard. Recently, the three brothers from the deepest desert made a stop in my inn, The Dragon’s Beard, on their way to an event in a neighboring realm.
During their stay, I had a moment to sit and share a drink with each of them. Fascinating boys they are.
Ha! You should hear the one sing. You’d think he was a bard himself. Ha ha!
Today, I would like to introduce you to the youngest brother, a fine-looking bearded man by the name of Shane.
Balbo: Hello there, Shane. It’s good to finally meet you.
Shane: It’s an honor to meet you too, Balbo.
Balbo: First, from one business owner to another, what role do you play at Tabletop Beard?
Shane: I’m one of the owners, and Director of Operations.
Balbo: I see, I see. Director of Operations, ahh yes, I could tell you did something very important. You have quite the air of confidence about you…and…I must say, you smell fantastic for a man who has just finished a long journey. Is that one of your premium beard oils I smell? If so, is it your favorite scent?
Shane: Yes, it is. You know, it kind of changes for me but I would have to say Cleric is my favorite scent. That said, I wear Paladin most often and that is what I am wearing now, Balbo.
Balbo: Tell me, young Shane, when Tabletop Beard was just forming, did you have an idea that you felt was outstanding? Did you see it come to light?
Shane: Yes, I waffled back and forth between having full-on character art for each class or if they should be represented by a weapon or class item. Once we decided on full character art, I knew it had to be perfect, and once we found our artist Felipe it was obvious that artwork in general was going to be a big part of our branding.
Balbo: You are a visionary! Ahhh…perhaps visionary can be a future class, with a piece of artwork featuring you, Shane. So, tell me, how much time do you invest in Tabletop Beard each week?
Shane: I would say 15-20 hours a week.
Balbo: That is a lot of time, but I bet you still have some free time. What role playing games have you played?
Shane: Most of my 20’s were spent in my apartment playing tabletop games with my wife (she was my girlfriend at the time) and our friends. We started with Dungeons and Dragons 4e. I know that’s not the most beloved edition, but it has a special place in my heart. Since then, I’ve played the 3.5 and 5th editions, Pathfinder, Mutants and Masterminds, D20 modern, Call of Cthulhu, Pokémon Tabletop United, Aberrant, we even created our own system for an Avatar – The Last Airbender tabletop. One of my friends and I are currently building our first Warhammer armies and learning that system as well!
Balbo: Are you still a pen and paper gamer? We do enjoy those games here in my tavern.
Shane: Yes! I am learning how to use roll20, but I refuse to give up my notebook and pencil!
Balbo: We had a Time Mage visit us not long ago. He spoke of magical things called video games. Have you heard of them? Do you enjoy RPG video games? Which ones?
Shane: Absolutely. Kingdom Hearts and the Final Fantasy series are some of my favorites, but the Pokémon series is number 1 for me.
Balbo: Another favorite pastime in our tavern is board games. What is your favorite board game, Shane?
Shane: I really enjoy Carcassonne, but I love finding and learning new board games as much as possible!
Balbo: I must ask you, as you can see, we are in a tavern that serves only the finest spirits and ales. What do you think is the best beverage to drink while gaming? Perhaps I will serve it here! Ha!
Shane: That’s a tough question! Depending on my mood, I’m going to say either ginger ale or black coffee.
Balbo: I see you have some finely styled and cared for facial hair, Shane. How long have you had a beard?
Shane: I think I was 16 when I grew my first chin patch, I’ve never not had a beard since then! I guess that makes it 17 years with some form of a beard.
Balbo: Did you enjoy the new Dungeons and Dragons moving pictures show? Why?
Shane: I really enjoyed it! It was light-hearted and fun; I feel like they hit a good spectrum of characters and it felt like a campaign you could be playing at your dining room table.
Balbo: I can see it in your eyes, my friend. You have read many tomes and scrolls. What was the first fantasy novel you read?
Shane: Probably The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. I loved those books growing up!
Balbo: And what was the first RPG book you read?
Shane: Homeland. I got into The Legacy of the Drow series shortly after I started playing tabletop games. It’s an amazing series and Drizzt may or may not have inspired one of the character art designs for Tabletop Beard.
Balbo: Magic is a part of our life in this realm. So, I must ask. If you could reset time right now to a different time, what time would you pick?
Shane: While I’d like to have played the original Dungeons and Dragons in the 70’s and 80’s, I loved the 90’s. The best cartoons, Pokemon cards, and some of the best video games ever. So, I’d go with 90’s.
Balbo: Lastly, Balbo knows the value of good promotion *wink* so, tell me, who would you love to get to promote Tabletop Beard?
Shane: Gary Gygax would have been awesome to promote us! Who better than the founding father himself? But I think Will Wheaton would also be a really cool person to have promote us!
We thank Shane for sharing an ale and his experiences with us. He’s a good guy. It’s obvious why Tabletop Beard makes such good beard care products with him there to help make all the right decisions.