Level Eater Events

Actual Play Events and Fundraisers

Events of the
Past and Future

Level Eater events mix original art celebrating the fantastical imagery and fabulous weirdness of Dungeons & Dragons with unique opportunities for actual play with friends and neighbors.

Often, our events combine single-table play with event-wide twists that give every player a chance to shine—and a heroic experience to share with fellow attendees.

Along the way, we raise funds for organizations like The Public Media Institute and MyMusicRx. Our adventurers don’t just battle evil in play—they contribute to making the real world a more wondrous place.

Join us for one of our unique events or tune in to our archive of radio adventures and podcasts.

The First Five Years
Level Eater began as an annual Chicago gallery show celebrating the artistry and geekery of Dungeons & Dragons. The earliest events featured paintings and sculptures, bands and swordplay demonstrations, all hosted at Chicago’s beloved hybrid gallery space, the Co-Prosperity Sphere in Bridgeport. In the fifth year of the event, at the stroke of midnight, the gallery hosted three tables of D&D play, hosted by local DMs.
Level Eater 6.66 (2016)

Six shadows fell across the land. The Six Dire Demons returned to the realm of mortals, hungry for power—and ruthless in their attacks. Only the bravery, cunning, and sacrifice of daring heroes defeated this evil sextet. The land was safe again … for a time.

As we realized just how many locals wanted to play D&D at Level Eater, the event shifted to focus on a night of ferocious adventure. The turnout was unbelievable.

This event featured six short adventures, each themed around a devilish foe embodying one of D&D’s core ability scores. Individual tables undertook different individual adventures, each challenging a different Dire Demon. Some tables were victorious. Some were defeated. The life of an adventurer is never certain.

But we were just getting started…

#leveleater666 at Instagram

Level Eater 7.77 (2017)

Sensing our world was weakened, a new foe approached from beyond the stars: the Nemesis. Its arrival broke our world into parallel realities, like light through a prism, and sought to devour them all and enrich itself. But in every facet of our reality, we resisted its conquest…

We learned a lot. This year, we focused on art and play, with seven simultaneous tables of heroes battling the same foe until the strike of midnight. This was a rambunctious night of local brews, foods, art, and imagination.

Each table undertook the same adventure—the lair of the Nemesis—with subtle differences written in and brought to life by seven Dungeon Masters. Six tables were victorious, working together to align the right magic weapon with the right version of the Nemesis and bring it down. (The seventh table stole a piece of the Nemesis’ power; one adventurer went into the cosmos as the New Nemesis.)

Yet the world of Level Eater was forever changed…

Would you like to know more?

Level Eater 8.88 (2018)

The city itself trembles and quakes at the approach of a new menace: the Vile Mind. It came from another plane of existence, with conquest in its heart. To survive, we faced magic spiders and cosmic octopi on both sides of a new battle against evil here at home.

This year, we combined ticketed seats at our game tables with a great VIP experience, bringing in famed DMs and guests to host some of our tables. And we were gifted a breathtaking Beholder cake by @dinarosecakes!

Building on lessons learned from Level Eater 7.77, we devised a new way for tables to cooperate and interact while undertaking quests of their choosing. (It worked well, and future Level Eater events aim to build on this play style.) And we finally locked in the fantastical city of Portsbridge as the home for Chicago’s Level Eater events.

In the end, the tables narrowly overcame the forces of the Vile Mind and sent it packing…

…but to where?

Would you like to know more?

Level Eater Portland (2018)

Level Eater Portland is officially happening on September 8, 2018.

Learn more about it here.

Level Eater 9 (2019)

On January 19th, 2019 … a new foe arrived!

Despite the brave heroics and desperate battles of adventurers from throughout the land, bad luck left us defeated in the face of villainy. Weakened—for now—we rally before the arrival of a new dreaded enemy. Defeat is always temporary!

Dimension Door 2019

A day of play tests and side quests, Dimension Door introduced Chicago gamers to lots of new and in-progress games. That night, a handful of adventuring parties undertook a daring adventure to recover a treasure that could change the fate of Portsbridge — and succeeded! The adventure continues in Level Eater X…

Level Eater Portland (2019)

Level Eater returned to Portland, OR, for a new adventure in the realm of Greenmoss in October, 2019!

Level Eater X (2020)

In January 2020, the Devourer finally, horrifically caught up with the city of Portsbridge. Only through the bravery, battles, and wisdom of our adventurers did the city manage to escape … and be transported to a whole new world on the material plane!

Level Eater XI (2021)

In the midst of pandemic chaos and malaise, Level Eater XI unfolded online, through the power of virtual tabletops and video chats. With a unique new game rule for tracking the progress of our quests online, our adventurers gathered supplies necessary to help Portsbridge survive and saved two neighboring kingdoms along the way. At the last minute, though, the city cast a spell to send it home—but was instead whisked to a whole other world!

Level Eater XII (2022)

Online once again (with hopes still high for a return to in-person play soon!), Level Eater returns to explore the ruins of a strange, lost land and confront the mysteries of a vanished empire!