One of "The Best New Steam Games You Might Have Missed This Week" - Rock, Paper, Shotgun | "A cross between The Sims and a rousing game of Dungeons and Dragons" - Geek & Sundry
All Reviews:
Mostly Positive (90) - 72% of the 90 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Sep 13, 2017

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Participating in Early Access allows us to make our game's development player-centric: we'll be listening to the community's feedback throughout every step of this process. We truly want you and everyone else who plays to feel like you've had a hand in the creation of Epic Tavern.

Our passion is making this amazing concept into the best game it can possibly be-- and we know that can't be achieved without the help of our community!”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“Approximately 14 months (subject to change at any time).”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“Throughout Early Access, Epic Tavern will, with the help of our community, develop into the game it is destined to become. Our ambitions include, but are not limited to:

  • Expanded Story Content
  • Additional quests, based on community feedback
  • Longer quest chains
  • Procedural quests
  • Expanded loot system
  • Expanded Character Features
  • New character classes
  • More custom characters
  • Additional character status effects
  • Inter-character relationships
  • In-depth traits and personality system
  • Regional renown system and factions
  • Pets and Companions
  • Expanded Tavern Features
  • Custom Tavern Editing
  • Rival Taverns
  • Tavern staffing
  • Expanded inventory management
  • Enhanced Tavern economy and business simulation
  • Drunken bar fights!

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Every great adventure begins in the Tavern, and Epic Tavern's great adventure begins on Early Access. We have developed a stable core gameplay experience that will be expanded upon with the help of our community's feedback. Entering Early Access, the game currently contains:

  • Character-based gameplay - Befriend heroes over drinks and learn their stories. Hire heroes based on their skills and personalities, and how they will further your Tavern's ambitions. The better you get to know your team, the more likely you are to unlock custom quests, powerful items, and hidden characters. Finally, carefully guide your adventurers' progression as they gain experience and develop into heroes whose deeds will be spoken of for generations to come.

  • Quest-based gameplay - Guide your heroes through perilous quests as they explore an epic storyline to save the world from destruction. With hundreds of possible quests and thousands of possible encounters tailored to your heroes, the potential for adventure is nearly limitless. Beware: questing takes its toll on your heroes, and their adventures will leave them bruised, battered, cursed, and otherwise changed. Be sure to build the right upgrades to get them back in shape for the next adventure.

  • Tavern-based gameplay - After your heroes return from questing, decide how to divvy up the loot they've gathered on their adventures and how to invest it. Do you generously lavish a large portion on your heroes to gain their favor, or do you keep the lion's share for your Tavern, in hopes of boosting its renown and increasing your power? Savvy decision-making will ensure success and secure your Tavern's place in history.

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?


How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We plan on continuing our communication with our amazing community through our Kickstarter Updates, our Twitch streams, our Discord channel, social media channels, and our online forums.

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Recent updates View all (12)

March 8

Tavern Scrawl #47: A Chat with our Lead Writer, Shawn French!

G’day, Taverneers!

With our next patch quickly approaching, we wanted to give you something fun to read in the meantime. This week, Epic Tavern Project Lead Rich sat down with our Lead Writer Shawn to ask him some questions about his background, his writing process, and his approach to conjuring the stories you see in Epic Tavern!

Rich: I'm sure the people reading this want to know a little bit about your background. Is this your first time writing for a videogame? What else have you done, up until you started on Epic Tavern?

Shawn: Writing video games has been a dream since I got my first Commodore 64 in the Long Ago Time, but this is my first real crack at it. I've done a bit of everything. I wrote and performed comedy for years, spent some time as a newspaper sports editor, and more recently got into making horror movies and writing comics. It was through that work that I met Eric (Lead Designer).

I was fortunate to grow up with an after-school program run by a game designer, whose friends were game designers. I remember us making an orc-versus-dwarf combat football game with a 6-foot-long game board when I was still in grade school. I grew up with this stuff.

I have vivid memories of a road trip to GenCon as a little kid, in a car full of adult game designers (John Wheeler, Peter Rice, Bud Wellington) who were arguing about realism-vs-playability in random weather and encumbrance systems. I just soaked it all up.

Rich: I've read your comics, and they are great. What initially sparked the idea for Escape from Jesus Island?

Shawn: It hit me in waves over the course of 20 years. It started in the parking lot after seeing Jurassic Park, when talk radio said someone claimed to have found the Shroud of Turin. I started laughing uncontrollably, imagining Jurassic Park, but with Jesus clones instead of dinosaurs. One stormy night, the Bodies of Christ break loose and run amok. I outlined the first draft right in the parking lot, then wrote it up that night as a short film script. It started as straight slapstick, like an episode of Scooby-Doo. It even had one of those chase scenes in a hallway with lots of doors, where the heroes and villains run in and out of doors completely at random.

Then Dolly the Sheep totally changed the story. Dolly was the first sheep ever cloned and it took 277 attempts to get one that lived. Which meant best-case scenario, if you were trying to clone Jesus, you would first end up with 276 fatally mutated, near-Jesus freaks. That's when I started to realize it was a horror story.

The final big shift was when I partnered with artist Mortimer Glum to transform it into a comic. It was around then that I fully realized it was the Biblical story of Revelation, using cloning as the catalyst for the return of Jesus and rise of the Antichrist, who in our story is the twin brother of the reborn Christ. That's when everything clicked into place. I spent a year immersing myself in scripture and listening to sermons about the Antichrist and Apocalypse around the clock. It was madness, but it led to finally finding the story in its current form.

Rich: Amazing. It feels like you've really been enjoying the writing you've been doing for Epic Tavern. What challenges and opportunities does it present that differentiate it from writing for film or comics?

Shawn: It's so much fun and it breaks my brain in new and interesting ways. Branching narrative is a whole different world and it took me awhile to really get my head around that. When breaking down a story in any other form of writing, you consider a wide range of options, but at the end of the day, you have to decide on which of those things actually happens. You discard the other ideas.

With a game like Epic Tavern, I get to explore every possibility. So I now find myself drawn to storylines based on the range of possibilities they present rather than a specific narrative outcome. Where failing creates an equally interesting path. Every path is the real one for the player who's on it. That was an important realization.

Most fiction writing is the process of narrowing down possibilities. Branching stories are the opposite. It's all about exploring and expanding possibilities. And the process of layering all those narrative threads in such a way that they elegantly play out is my favorite puzzle ever. I've become completely obsessed with it.

Rich: You and I know that there is a lot of craziness behind 'how the sausage is made' in Epic Tavern's narrative engine. If you could let the players know about a particularly interesting 'behind the scenes' mechanic/system that goes into determining what any given piece of narrative looks like, what would it be?

Shawn: A big part of the fun is finding new ways to use the storytelling tools this engine provides. One new tool that's super simple in concept but that opens a whole world of possibilities is Global Variables (GVs). It allows me to insert an invisible flag (either Yes/No or a number) into any piece of text and then later modify or check for it and display different results if certain criteria are met.

I've gone full mental with this new tool. Sure, I can use it to track major world events and make sure if a store got blown up three quests ago, people don't talk about it like it's still there. But that's the tip of the iceberg. It's now my intention to create a unique GV for every NPC in the game, as well as each faction, and have every interaction either help or hurt your reputation with them. And to have them treat you according to your past history with them. So every interaction is building your personal story. Once I realized that was possible using Global Variables, I knew I had to do it.

I'm currently working on an Olympics-style event, The Frozen Games, for our upcoming patch. Since it's a giant event in the story world, I wanted all the famous people in Beor to either be competing or attending. But there are all kinds of quests that can kill off prominent residents. Using a bunch of Global Variables allowed me to be sure that folks killed off in your timeline aren't in attendance (although, any role you played in their death may come up).

Rich: Whoah. I think we did the math once and found that players have like 1 in 1,430,000 chance of experiencing the same story as another player by the end of the prologue. Sounds like it's only getting crazier. Speaking of the story world, how the hell do you maintain a world's worth of people, places, events, items, etc, and keep it all straight?

Shawn: Like anything complex, you just break it into manageable pieces. When I have a bunch of narrative threads running parallel, I treat each as its own universe until it’s finished, and then worry about weaving them together later. The end result is writing that's buried under a terrifying pile of string commands, but it only looks scary from the outside. The individual components are still simple threads. You just learn to zoom in and block out the surrounding noise.

For the world-building stuff, I use a variety of tools. One of my first priorities when joining the project was assembling a world bible of every piece of established info about Beor and its inhabitants. That gave me the foundation to build on. I do most of my world-building work in Scrivener these days. For especially complex storylines, sometimes I'll use an engine like Inklewriter to knock out a quick outline I can click through. And I'll even go old-school and sketch out a quest tree by hand from time to time.

Obsessively building medieval fantasy worlds is something I've been doing my entire life, so that was one of the things that most excited me about Epic Tavern.

Rich: Super interesting insights, I'm glad you are on our team! One of the great things about being in Early Access is that we're able to see systems come on-line all the time that help us to achieve our visions. What's one of the pieces of tech/systems that you're most excited about? How will it help you get even crazier with telling Epic Tavern's story?

Shawn: One of the biggest upcoming additions that I'm psyched about is making it so every character who ever steps foot in your tavern has a unique backstory with a payoff once fully revealed. I recently drove myself to the brink of insanity knocking out more than a hundred 10-part class-specific backstories that will be assigned to procedurally generated characters going forward.

I wasted a fair amount of energy trying to figure out a system for randomly generating backstories, and maybe that could have worked to a degree, but the end result of actually writing each is just so much better. This was one of those times when grinding through a problem was better than trying to find a clever way around it.

When this expanded feature goes live, we'll have around 150 unique unfolding backstories in the game. I think that pool is probably deep enough, but if it turns out players are getting far enough in the game that they're meeting more than 150 heroes, I'll crank out another big batch.

Rich: That is a staggering number of words. Do you have any advice for aspiring game writers?

Shawn: Technology has evolved to the point where you don't need anyone's permission to make games anymore. You don't have to wait for a break or to be noticed or any of that. The gatekeepers have lost control and the gates are wide open. You can make games on your own right now, today, with tools that are free in many cases. If that's what you want to be doing, do it. Don't talk about wanting to be a writer, put your ass in the chair and be one.

The primary difference between me today and me before my father died 10 years ago is that I no longer wait for permission to go after what I want. Life is short and it goes fast. Spend your time doing the stuff you want to do. If you do it enough, you'll build up a marketable skill or two along the way.

And creativity breeds creativity. Working crew positions on several films led to directing my own movie, which led to my comic, which led to Epic Tavern. Taking that first step of an unpaid production assistant gig on a bad indie horror movie opened the door for everything that followed.

Want to reach out to Shawn, Rich, and the rest of the devs? You can! Join our Discord channel:

From everyone here at the Tavern,


4 comments Read more

January 24

Tavern Scrawl #46: Full Speed Ahead!

Greetings, adventurers!

We hope that everyone’s holiday season and New Years was delightful! In our end of Beor, we had the pleasure of welcoming a new addition: Memige (our Lead Engineer) and his awesome wife welcomed their new baby boy into the world! What a celebration indeed! Drinks all around!

Now that we have settled into 2018, we want to let you in on all of the design discussions we’ve been having, what we are working on, and the cool changes we are making for Epic Tavern. We believe tunnel vision stunts overall growth and, by including our community in our processes, we make sure that we continuously hone Epic Tavern so that it becomes a better and better game every day. For this reason, we cherish and appreciate the time you all put in to sharing your passion and your perspective.

So, that brings us to our goals: We must promote a cohesive and naturally self-evident player experience. We must expand player agency and choice in the game. We must make every effort to eliminate junctures that provide conceptual breaks that take the player out of the experience. We must work hard to bridge the gap between a player’s idealization of the game and what they are actually experiencing. From the resultant foundation, we must press to exceed expectation and give new perspectives on what exactly a fantasy management game could be.

To that end, we are embarking on a massive push to capitalize on our potential. We are revamping the Tavern social experience to be more natural, engaging, and connected to the many interesting systems that comprise the player’s experience in Epic Tavern. Our work on this push is beginning now, and will take us through Spring 2018. Players will start to see the first manifestation of this push in our next update, due sometime in Early March.

Of course, we will complement this push with continued work on character stories, quests, and further development of our narrative engine. Looking to the future, we are excited to add tavern editing, advanced tavern management, traits, and hero relationships, as we progress forward.

Needless to say, we are extremely excited to start testing out these features, and even more excited to hear from you on how we can make it better!

Again, none of what we do would be possible without the ongoing support of our community. Your input and feedback has been a big part of our game development process, and we really have been enjoying playing the game alongside you all! Speaking of our awesome community, we wanted to point you in the direction of some awesome sites and channels of those who have contributed a lot of time towards improving our game through posts, streams, and more.

Are you interested in modding options for Epic Tavern? One of our hero community members, Draakdorei, has made some tools and documents that will help you to do so. He’s taken it upon himself out of sheer enjoyment to bring everyone some fun mechanics to play with. You can check out his website here.

We are so thankful to have such an great community on our Twitch streams - you make it easy for our moderators to moderate! Our moderators, Aiydee and FeralDraakdorei, have been so attentive and present in our streams. While they haven’t had to throw down the Dugorim hammer too much, they have kept our chat and channel fun and safe for anyone who comes and visits. Thank you both! Come have fun with us on

There have been lots of Let’s Plays for Epic Tavern on YouTube, and every single one has been extremely fun and truly insightful. Seeing the perspective of the player has played a big role in our development of the game. We wanted to point you in the direction of some channels that you should check out: Our friends The Geek Cupboard, and PyroFalkon have lots of Let’s Plays including Epic Tavern, and other fun games!

We are very appreciative of everyone who has spent time not only playing our game, but also giving us feedback and suggestions through our Steam forums and Online Forums, and through our Discord channel. It’s really been a pleasure getting to know all of you, and developing the game alongside you. We’ve always said that we want to make a game we all want to play, and without you, that could not happen. Journeying through Early Access and steadily heading towards Full Release is much more fun with you all by our side! (That, and a whole ton of ale, of course).

From everyone here at the Tavern,

4 comments Read more
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About This Game

One of "The Best New Steam Games You Might Have Missed This Week"
- Rock, Paper, Shotgun

"A cross between The Sims and a rousing game of Dungeons and Dragons"
- Geek & Sundry

Epic Tavern is a fantasy-management-RPG where you rule the land from your Tavern. Recruit heroes, send them on quests, and reap the rewards! Build a legendary Tavern to attract Heroes from every corner of a dangerous and magical world. By bringing together courageous parties and sending them off on dangerous (and oftentimes crazy) adventures, every decision you make will alter the destiny of your Epic Tavern!

Player Choice: In Epic Tavern, every quest choice made and every adventurer befriended could unlock new quests, new alliances, or access to characters, items, and tavern building opportunities. The experience grows as you play - your choices will directly steer the fate of your intrepid adventurers!

The Tavernmaster: You and your tavern are at the center of a world full of danger, intrigue and unlimited adventure. Your every choice determines the future of your establishment, bringing heroes and stories together in fellowships that will become the stuff of legend. This is where friendships are made, and where great adventures are started. In Epic Tavern, you build the destiny of your world, one drink at a time.

The Adventurers: A multitude of characters drawn from 20+ classes and walks of life will visit your tavern. Mages, warriors, assassins, and more will be at your disposal! Befriend them over drinks and learn their secrets. Between quests, take their experience, level them up, and influence the nature of their destiny.

The World: You will send your new friends on quests to explore the land of Beor. These quests unfold into an epic storyline unique to your playthrough. Epic Tavern pushes the limits of a player-centric narrative and creates a brand new model of the classic RPG experience. The impact of your choices will inexorably change your adventurers and the World itself!

Attract Adventurers: Build a legendary Tavern that draws the greatest heroes in the world. Befriend your patrons by loosening them up with frothy pints and hire the Adventurers whose traits you desire.

Unlock Quests: Perk up your ears and listen for whispers and rumors to find the opportunities you'd like your Adventurers to pursue.

Assemble your Party: Choose your heroes based on their skills and strengths. Equip them with special weapons and relics, and then send them off to claim victory in their quests.

Track their Progress: Follow your party on the map and see in detail how the quest is unfolding. Each encounter could yield treasure and XP, or tragedy and defeat.

Sort Out the Results: Use what is earned to boost your Tavern's renown, level-up your victorious Heroes, and prepare for ever more treacherous quests.

Not All Challenges are Overcome: Expect to meet failures on your path to glory. Whether or not a quest ends in victory, expect your adventurers to change! Every triumph and every sorrow weave the fabric of your world's unique destiny.

The Path of Transformation: Quests will lead to important changes in your characters. What if your decision to send a fatigued and injured character on a quest leads to critical failure that results in a Total Party Kill? It’s not just a matter of who you send, but also of what happens to them on their travels.

Grand adventure awaits in the world of Epic Tavern!

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: I3
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce 710 / GeForce 620m
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 5 GB available space
    • OS: Windows 10
    • Processor: I7
    • Memory: 16 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GTX 980
    • DirectX: Version 12
    • Storage: 7 GB available space
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