Minnesota Venue Your Mom's Basement Ends Four Year Run October 30, 2016


Local Play

5/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

On October 30, 2016 Your Mom's Basement will end it's four and a half year run in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. Since November of 2012, the Minnesota Pathfinder Society Lodge has hosted events on Saturday nights at YMB, peaking at seven tables of Pathfinder Society scenarios per session and averaging four tables each week for 2016. We've watched the store go through a remodel and a couple of redesigns to create more gaming space for tabletop RPGs, and it is with a heavy heart that we'll watch it close its doors at the end of the month.

When we first started running events at Your Mom's Basement (I'm going to miss that name so much), games were little more than a table and three players. Shoved into a tiny corner behind a bookshelf, we ran a single table, then two, then - when we could find GMs - three. After I stopped organizing and stepped down as Venture-Captain, Erica Loppanow (panpear) took over organizing duties, to be succeeded by Jason Westphal (jwes55), Jolene Danner, and Tom Otremba (Tindalen). During their stewardship, the community at the store grew from two tables per week to four, the store expanded our gaming area twice, and brought in additional material to cater to our group.

Your Mom's Basement presented a unique gaming model. Operating out of what used to be an Erbert's and Gerbert's location, Dan and Doug built a game shop/restaurant combination that was uniquely able to leverage Pathfinder Society's captive audience. With a combination of good comfort food (the tater tots were a flagship item, and the breakfast burrito was a house favorite), as well as the house-baked cookies and renowned Cookie Sundae (one usually led to a floodgate opening), the store was uniquely positioned to benefit from tabletop gamers even without sales of physical product.

Your Mom's Basement was a unique store with an amazing mission. The sign on the building read, "Food, Gaming, Community," and the community that sprung up around The Basement was amazing. They went out of their way to welcome us, help us, set us up to succeed. They expanded the gaming space twice, enabling us to coexist with Magic: the Gathering even on prerelease nights. The community celebrated birthdays, holidays, and game days alike; I count at least four members of the staff (and I'm probably forgetting someone) as friends after four years of gaming at The Basement. They even ran a, "Pathfinder Appreciation Night," for us where Pathfinder Society filled the store and organized seven tables of Siege of the Diamond City. This store built a special atmosphere of welcome and inclusion, something I've not encountered at any other gaming venue.

Sadly, the amazing community and the food-centric model were not enough. So please join me in remembering this awesome venue. They had one hell of a run, and I'd like this thread to serve as a place to record stories of the experiences we shared there; a place to remember what they built, and hopefully to inspire someone else to build upon what Your Mom's Basement started.


It is always sad when a FLGS closes. You have my condolences.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

nOoooOOOOOoooo

4/5

My availability for PFS is sporadic, at best. But whenever I found myself with a free Saturday, I always checked Your Mom's Basement first to see if open spots were to be had there. I'll be saddened by it's closing, but at least I'll get to play there one last time.

4/5

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Ryan Blomquist wrote:
They even ran a, "Pathfinder Appreciation Night," for us where Pathfinder Society filled the store and organized seven tables of Siege of the Diamond City.

One of the best runs of a special I ever experienced. And there was cake!

I was so looking forward to running specials there again. :-(

4/5

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Things I remember fondly...

One of only two venues at which I played PFS with my daughter.
Spending a significant portion of "Labyrinth of Hungry Ghosts" fuming at the bottom of a pit (truly, HMM, I did have fun down there).
Moving aside so the big bad in "Sanctum of a Lost Age" (with whom my character was trying to negotiate) could kill Kitty's character (sorry, Kitty, I didn't expect that to happen).
"Team Critical Failure" where everything went hilariously wrong.
Everyone I met, played with and ran tables for.
And, of course, "Siege of the Diamond City". There was cake.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Indiana—Hammond

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My sympathies. It is hard to see a favorite local gaming store close. My hope is that PFS will do well in your area in a different venue and you will keep the memory of Your Mom's Basement alive.

4/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I started my PFS journey back in Season 3, but quit in Season 4 for scheduling reasons. When I finally came back, it was Season 6 and I was looking at stores in the area. After a number of sessions, I settled on YMB as my weekly hangout. It supplanted a number of other activities that happen on Saturday nights, as well - UFC PPVs, for example - but I always found myself drawn to the store, the people, and our slice of the community.

There are certainly other stores around, but they won't be Your Mom's Basement.

Grand Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

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Heh, I remember you in that pit, Earl!

What I will miss most about Your Mom's Basement is the community that gathered there. I didn't make it there very often, but I loved it. Such a great group of regulars! I wanted to cry when I heard that the store was closing its doors.

Hmm

Dark Archive 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Minnesota—Minneapolis aka Silbeg

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It was a sad day when Jolene told us that the doors would be closing at YMB (always took my wife by surprise when I called it "Your Mom's Basement"). Food was great, the gaming and community better.

Never once did I feel like we weren't wanted there. They made us feel welcome, which is a rare thing, I can tell you.

It says a lot, when my wife, who sometimes complains that I game too much (something I categorically state is untrue!!), tells me that I needed to go play last Saturday, even though I had already played everything being offered. I was lucky to get a seat at Frostfur Captives, and had a great time of it (another replay gone to a good cause!).

YMB, you'll be missed!

Shadow Lodge

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This is incredibly unfortunate.

My first serious encounter with tabletop tabletop RPGs happened because of a random flyer posted in YMB. No matter how many locations sprouted up across the Twin Cities, YMB was the one I always made time for, regardless of how busy I was. In fact, out of all the stores I've ever been to, YMB is the only one I've never had a bad table at, this is largely due to the excellent community which called that store their home. I hope Jolene manages to find another suitable location, because losing that group of players would truly be a tragedy.

Dark Archive 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Minnesota—Twin Cities Metro East

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As the current organizer of YMB, I was devastated when I heard the news. I *did* shed tears over this news. Working with Dan, Doug, Derek, Cody and the other wonderful employees was always easy. They made room for us, seemingly no matter what. If I called and asked for 5 tables, I GOT THEM!

They reached out to me to have Pathfinder Society Appreciation Day. They gave raffle prizes and bought a cake and gave us the WHOLE STORE (except the computer terminals) where we packed in 7 tables (only short 2 players have all of them full.) Zach and Monica from Fargo came down to help me Oversee, Ryan Blomquist read the Overseer scripted bits while we tallied the points and kept track of time. It was my first special that I organized and it makes me so happy to see how well it turned out. (thanks Earl from ^^^ in this thread)

Running game days here have pushed me many ways. It wasn't easy, but it was good. I am proud of the community we've built up over the years. I'm sad for Dan and Doug, I know they tried to keep the doors open. I know that they are going to try to keep the community going as well, without the store front. I wish them all the luck with that and will happily toss in some events in PFS ways to things that they want to do later.

I've had many good times at YMB playing and GMing. Some of the most memorable:
Port Godless and the 3 Silver Crusaders slaughtering the accountants on the top floor as the 3 Chelaxian's watch in horror.
Fashion shows with Kitty's druid (which on amirite?!?!?) where our characters were too naive to know that the person watching the show wasn't there for the fashion.
Surviving hard mode in Sealed gate.
Surviving King of the storval stairs...
Not surviving AFI:3 Hard mode... (that 1 on that fort save though)
Playing so many amazing games with so many amazing people.

I've laughed, I've cried, I've raged, and I kept going back. Sure we'll all have this at Level Up now on saturday nights. But it won't be the same.

It won't be YMB. That place is the best.

(at least red team got the PokeGym back on saturday) :D

4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Minnesota—St. Paul aka panpear

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It's super sad. YMB is my main gaming store; even with it being a good 30 minutes from me, it had a nice casual feel and lots of good people to play with. Not to mention it was one of the few gaming stores in the area with food! Wherever will we fulfill our ice cream cookie sundae needs? (Exciting fact: Ice cream cookie sundaes and popcorn were just a couple of the items that if one person at the table got one, the rest would soon follow...)

I've had great times playing and organizing there. In addition to all the wonderful stories people have mentioned above (I remember Team Critical Failure, good times), I do recall another time when most of the tables were playing the Blakros Matrimony, the store got all of those tables cake at the appropriate time! That was very cool of them. :)

I wish them all the best on future endeavors, and to keeping their gaming community alive online. We'll miss you, YMB!

Dark Archive 5/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If there was one store that did more to make our little corner of the PFS world the best place on earth, I can't think of them. YMB is the catalyst for why I am so proud of my GMs, my coordinators, my players and everyone who takes time out of their schedule to play a game.

Is it any wonder that both Erica and Jolene are valued members of our region's leadership team?

I am sad to see them close. The proverbial lightning in a bottle happened and we are lucky to have had them for as long as we did. I mean, what other store could we call up out of the blue, ask/tell them to participate in Free RPG Day and have them go, "Ok, sure. Cool." We then proceeded to fill up the place all day.

Good times, great games.

pours out a little for his lost game store

Dark Archive 5/5 Venture-Captain, Minnesota—St. Paul

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Wait, the MN crew is getting together in a thread? Shoot, I forgot my pitchfork. Wait, we don't need them? Oh, alright...

Your Mom's Basement is where I GM'd my first table. It's where I played Eyes of the Ten. It's a venue that I spent more than a handful of 12 hour days at.

It's where I've met and interacted with people that I've ended up in home games with, that I talk to nearly daily, that have become friends separate from Pathfinder.

I'll miss it dearly.

Dark Archive 5/5

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Keith Apperson wrote:
Wait, the MN crew is getting together in a thread? Shoot, I forgot my pitchfork. Wait, we don't need them? Oh, alright...

Soon...

Liberty's Edge

It seems to me that Paizo should go out of it's way to do whatever it can to encourage local game stores to flourish, even if it means cutting down on it's short term profit. I realize that cutting out the middleman by the online ordering of products is cheaper because it cuts out the middleman; but local gaming venues , I believe, are essential to the long term growth of the gaming community and should be strongly supported. Also to be encouraged are college or high school gaming clubs perhaps with the aid of PFS gaming personnel.

4/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Martin Kauffman 530 wrote:
It seems to me that Paizo should go out of it's way to do whatever it can to encourage local game stores to flourish, even if it means cutting down on it's short term profit. I realize that cutting out the middleman by the online ordering of products is cheaper because it cuts out the middleman; but local gaming venues , I believe, are essential to the long term growth of the gaming community and should be strongly supported. Also to be encouraged are college or high school gaming clubs perhaps with the aid of PFS gaming personnel.

In this particular case, the store closure has nothing to do with any Paizo policy or pricing structure and much more to do with the amount of work it takes to run a store when life has many other commitments, paired with typical lease agreements requiring multiyear agreements.

Dark Archive 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Minnesota—Twin Cities Metro East

Martin Kauffman 530 wrote:
It seems to me that Paizo should go out of it's way to do whatever it can to encourage local game stores to flourish, even if it means cutting down on it's short term profit. I realize that cutting out the middleman by the online ordering of products is cheaper because it cuts out the middleman; but local gaming venues , I believe, are essential to the long term growth of the gaming community and should be strongly supported. Also to be encouraged are college or high school gaming clubs perhaps with the aid of PFS gaming personnel.

The bridge construction that's been going on at Exit for YMB likely didn't help. But it def didn't have anything to do with PFS people or Paizo.

Grand Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

Our wonderful gaming community is why Minnesota PFS thrives. YMB was one of the shiniest stars in our constellation.

We'll miss you so much, Your Mom's Basement!

Hmm

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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awww. It looked like a nice place. I remember laughing at the name when i put it on the map.

Liberty's Edge

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The event special at YMB, the Siege of Diamond City, run by Jolene was my first time playing Pathfinder and PFS. It was a fantastic night to begin, and has had me hooked ever since. Will be sad to see the store go.

Scarab Sages 4/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, Minnesota—St. Paul aka Neal B

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Gah, where to start! YMB is where I played my first PFS game (run by ^^^Ryan, no less). I was on the waitlist until maybe two hours before the game, and that's when I realized how far YMB was from me. It may have been one of the the furthest stores from me, but it was the best, and the one I would always prioritize.

Early on I learned how much the YMB staff and owners really cared about the gamers and the games. I remember asking one of them after a particularly long running scenario, what time they closed. The answer was, "meh, when everyone's done playing I'll close things up."
They really did put our gaming first, making sure everyone had a good time. I remember overhearing a MtG player that lost his deck in a draft tournament, and they offered to give him the materials necessary to draft a new deck, no charge. They just wanted him to have fun.

And getting to run a table at a multi-table special NOT at a convention?! They gave us the whole store! It wasn't some ballroom or banquet hall, it was Your Mom's Basement! (And I always loved catching people by surprise with the name, even if I was just thinking of it like the proper noun)

And who can forget derailing games (all in good fun) with the wonderful PFS community we have there! Particularly a table of Kobolds on a mission to negotiate with a tribe of Kobolds... that they all happen to be a part of.
... and the reptile puns. (Thanks for playing along, Jolene!)

I loved talking to Derek, Corey, Dan, Rachel and all the others that worked there. And the times they would check in about things I didn't even remember telling them about, it really added to the welcoming vibe of the store.

Hell, it was more than a store, it was a home. And it was always filled with family and friends, and good food!

5/5

Sad to see a store close its doors. My condolences.

Dark Archive 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Minnesota—Twin Cities Metro East

Neal B wrote:


And who can forget derailing games (all in good fun) with the wonderful PFS community we have there! Particularly a table of Kobolds on a mission to negotiate with a tribe of Kobolds... that they all happen to be a part of.
... and the reptile puns. (Thanks for playing along, Jolene!)

He was gonna make a speech to the chief and he made it. hahah Such a fun game.

4/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Jolene Danner wrote:
Neal B wrote:


And who can forget derailing games (all in good fun) with the wonderful PFS community we have there! Particularly a table of Kobolds on a mission to negotiate with a tribe of Kobolds... that they all happen to be a part of.
... and the reptile puns. (Thanks for playing along, Jolene!)

He was gonna make a speech to the chief and he made it. hahah Such a fun game.

It was a good speech.

Dark Archive 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Minnesota—Minneapolis aka Silbeg

I am going to have to see what that silly goblin boon gave us from We B4 Goblins, since Saturday will be my last chance to us it. Good thing my character will have it on him.

Have to remember to wear black on that day. Should I tear my shirt as well?

5/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Jack Brown wrote:

I am going to have to see what that silly goblin boon gave us from We B4 Goblins, since Saturday will be my last chance to us it. Good thing my character will have it on him.

Have to remember to wear black on that day. Should I tear my shirt as well?

Shirt tearing is optional but encouraged.

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