"WE GOTTA SHARE THIS"
With a passion for all things tabletop gaming, Jodene & Michael Davidson had envisioned a space for role playing games (RPG's) to call home for some time. COVID-19 actually helped move that vision along - A Dungeon Master himself (the individual who narrates the games plot and outcomes in real-time), Michael found that digital streaming of role playing games simply didn't offer the same structure and engagement as in person. And the fact that the two of them had savings and a library of over thirty thousand gaming miniatures between them to share with gamers, Authentic Dungeons became a reality. Michael emphasizes that the two of them recognized the unique position they were in- "We gotta share this".
Today, Authentic Dungeons offers an extensive library of tabletop miniatures, private themed gaming rooms, and a variety of tournaments and weekly activities for the adventurer at heart!
Where traditional retail environments like a comic shop usually offer limited space for in-person gatherings and tournaments, Authentic Dungeons is specifically built around such an audience. Customers come here to purchase time in six-hour blocks to play detailed gaming campaigns with large groups of friends while enjoying drinks, snacks, and the thrill of the story. This friendly atmosphere is further enforced when you first arrive, with the front door and interior resembling a tavern, a common place for heroes to gather in fantasy-based adventures. (And yes, they have a liquor license!)
Jodene emphasizes the focus her and Michael place on the broader community versus retail sales: "Build the community and the rest will follow," she says, "this is the place we want to be in". The location is a safe space for customers ensuring they feel welcome, invited, and can express themselves authentically. With a neighbourhood of mixed demographics, Stony Plain Road has proven to be a good location to foster this connection and encourage people to come together and know each other through gaming - Attendance and spirits are high!
THE FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT AS GOLD
The Valley Line West LRT is poised to make big changes and spark growth along Stony Plain Road; and Michael and Jodene are looking to the future. Some of their customers already use public transportation to arrive from as far away as St. Albert, with the benefits of a better transit system only further benefiting them in the long term. Having reached capacity in their shop numerous times, they are already considering moving to a larger location! This bodes well for SPR, and further emphasizes the coming catalyst for the community as a whole.