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Author Topic: Taverns & Inns  (Read 2183 times)

Knightcrawler

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Taverns & Inns
« on: February 28, 2006, 01:08:46 PM »
So I'm writing up various Taverns and Inns for the towns and cities in my campaign and I'm looking for ideas.  I'm posting it here in Fantasy because 99% of the stuff posted will not be setting/system specific and I think this could be a good resource for GM's as, hopefully the thread grows.

So here's the plan the more details and plot hooks that you can include the better.  Remember crunch isn't important, detail and fluff is.  A sentence or two about the owner/operator and perhaps a couple of the staff and regulars.

I'll see if I can start it off.
Knightcrawler

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Enkhidu

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Taverns & Inns
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2006, 01:17:13 PM »
For a Iron DM entry I put together I used something I called the Greenhouse - an inn that was also used as its namesake. Depending on size, you could do something similar, with fruit bearing trees growing inside the building and among the patrons.
 

Berger King

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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2006, 01:25:12 PM »
A bit of a Robin Hobb ripoff, but...

Inns/taverns see a lot of guests. Suppose the inn was built using stones from some ruined structure. These stones have mystic properties that absorb the memories/emotions/nightmares of guests. Over time these absorbed energies have built up. Now guests are beginning to experience visions/nightmares/vivid dreams of things they've never seen, places they've never been. Perhaps there is even a malevolent manifestation of the energies attacking the guests (a ghost type creature maybe).
 

Enkhidu

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« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2006, 01:29:09 PM »
Another idea, riffing off of Berger King.

An inn has a reputation for being haunted, and the ghosts there have been known to spin old tales, sing forgotten songs, etc. Occassionally, their whispers lead to lost hoards and other treasures.
 

Nicephorus

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« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2006, 01:38:29 PM »
For a modern supers game, I'm having the group meet at an extreme sports bar.  The same sort of thing could be ported to fantasy, which generally has a few anachronisms.

Have a tavern devoted to whatever the local sports are, picture of athletes on the wall, crystals that have recordings big games, and a place where local teams go after games to get drunk and sing stupid songs.  The owner would be an ex-superstar of the favorite local sport. The group could be roped into a game of some strange sport - the PCs might have high level abilities for regular combat but will have to learn to adapt them to the sport or be beaten by lower level NPCs with game specific abilities.

Something similar: Depending on the world and location, there might be a bar devoted to adventurers, with odd looking (but generally worthless) relics from tombs and dungeons on the walls.  The place would be full of gossip on who has been to what tomb/castle/lair and what they did/found.  Of course, the real adventurers will be outnumbered by posers, groupies, and conmen taking advantage of adventurers.  The group might hire a NPC to findout that the guy is either just trying to get in the pants of one of the PCs or he is someone who is more into looking good in studded leather than getting into harms way (like Der Fleidermouse (sp?) fromThe Tick).   Most of the gossip will be false but there would be a few real gems of info.

Knightcrawler

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« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2006, 01:40:11 PM »
The Hammered Ghost

A medium size tavern in the middle class/working section of the city.  It is situaited in a two story stone building with a slate shingle roof.  The large ironbound front door, which looks like it would be more at home on a castle, is flanked on either side by two sets of tall, narrow stained glass windows that dipict various adventuring and battle scenes.  
The inside is built of large fire blackened beams with a huge six foot fireplace at either end of the room.  A long polished wooden bar covers most of the back wall, only split in the middle by doors into the kitchen and rest of the tavern.  The tavern has a small menu of homestyle and adventuring grub.

Dandar Blackfoot is the half-elven retired adventurer who runs the Hammered Ghost.  The tavern gets its name Dandar's last adventure, a particularly disatorous one, where his adventuring party was hired to destroy a particular malevolent and dangerous ghost.  After the dust settled half the party was dead and the ghosts attacks had permantly aged and weaken Dandar.  Shaken and scarred Dandar had taken his accumulated gains from his adventuring days and opened the Hammered Ghost.  He quietly slipped into the life of a tavern owner.
Knightcrawler

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Maximum Fu

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Taverns & Inns
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2006, 01:46:54 PM »
The Misty Maiden is a small, dingy establishment located in the crumbling wharf district.  With its leaning walls and misshapen roof, and leaded windows that are so grimy as to prevent passerbys from seeing inside, it is a small wonder that anyone knows the Maiden in fact exists.

But they do, and night after night, the sailors and the deckhands, the travelling storytellers, and the ladies who would offer them an evening's company for a pence or two...they all warm the inside of the Maiden.

Mostly, they come to hear the stories and drink the mulled wine of Old Barek.  A sailor by trade and a pirate by reputation, Barek has seen every port in every city this side of the Waveless Sea.  Old Barek loves nothing more than to tell stories at the tables of his patrons, sharing a pipe or two and a glass or three.

---DM Notes---

The above is well-known to anyone who spends any amount of time in and around the wharf area and to anyone who makes a concerted effort to ask about the area's establishments.

Less well known is the fact that Barek has not retired from his reputed trade.  He is a major financier of pirating operations along the coast and is heavily involved in the slave trade, using the cellars of his establishment as a makeshift auction house during off hours.  Though genuinely easy going by nature, Barek is keenly aware that his reputation as a jovial old man with a story to tell is an essential part of his cover and is critical to allow him to continue to operate unimpeded.
Their prison is only in their own minds, yet they are in that prison; and so afraid of being taken in that they cannot be taken out.

-The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis

JoeBlank

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« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2006, 02:01:38 PM »
Quote from: Nicephorus
For a modern supers game, I'm having the group meet at an extreme sports bar.  The same sort of thing could be ported to fantasy, which generally has a few anachronisms.

Have a tavern devoted to whatever the local sports are, picture of athletes on the wall, crystals that have recordings big games, and a place where local teams go after games to get drunk and sing stupid songs.  The owner would be an ex-superstar of the favorite local sport. The group could be roped into a game of some strange sport - the PCs might have high level abilities for regular combat but will have to learn to adapt them to the sport or be beaten by lower level NPCs with game specific abilities.


I recall something similar in Living Imagination's Streets of Silver. The city of Parma has gliator arena, and a district built up around it. There is a nearby bar that has an enchanted "bowl" that shows a scaled down illusion of the action going on in the arena. Patrons and drink in the bar and watch the events, and the victors often show up later to celebrate.

http://www.rpgshop.com/product_info.php?products_id=32326&
 

Megamieuwsel

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« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2006, 02:24:14 PM »
"The Four Winds" is an odd building , even for extravagant Ishtavar;
Located on the juction of four main-streets , deviding as many Guild-sections of the city , it's the central locale of trade there.
Three stories high , this perfectly circular  all-basalt building is topped with an "Onion"-shaped roof of sheet-brass. Its windows are round and made of cured&oiled hog's bladder as to let in the light of day , but not unwanted sight from the streets or nearby other buildings.(Lookig out suffers the same...)

The attick consists of store-rooms , nothing special.(No , really..... ;) )

The second floor is devided in guest-rooms and two "conference-rooms" that have the (deserved) reputation of being completely private. The Innkeeper has to keep up his reputation in this regard and is extremely vigilant about it.

The groundfloor is where it all happens :
The drinking  , the brawling , gambling , tale-telling , singing , copping-a-feel-at-the-waitresses and so on.
The room covers the entire floor ; Four entrances , each one facing one of the four streets that come together at this point , divide the bars that completely encircle the room. Behind each bar , there's  a stairway down to the kitchens and storage-rooms in the basement.

The centre of the room is dominated by a gargantuan open fireplace and its copper chimney that channels the smoke all the way through the roof. (The openings are cleverly hidden so it looks like the "onion" is steaming hot.)
The fireplace certainly reminescences the campfires , the numerous adventures that visit the place , know so well.

Harman Gratha , the innkeeper is a respectable man and safe from the regular gossip and local politics keeps far from any "shady" buissiness. The girls , tending to the guest's needs (sometimes , but not always , in more than the regular way...) may know a little more , but it's in the stables where the real deal is to be found :
Gunther and Lothar , the stable-hands run a wide-spread network of info-gathering , fencing and contraband-handling from between the mules , donkeys and horses.
So far ,they managed to keep Harman completely ignorant about it.(Or do they?....)

And then there's "Old Plum-chewer" ; An old coot , always sitting in the same chair at the same table. A part of the interior himself.
He's normally not very talkative , unless profoundly drunk.
And getting him drunk , is a feat in and of itself : Many a hardened "Bar-Hero" has been drunk under the table by this seemingly fragile and used-up human without him blinking so much as an eyelid.

IF however he's finally had too much , one could pry some very interesting tales from his lips , for he's traveled far and wide in his younger days and has an iron pot for a memory.
All that's needed are the proper questions....

Knightcrawler

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« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2006, 02:25:28 PM »
This is going like gangbusters, thanks guys.  :D
Knightcrawler

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Xavier Lang

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« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2006, 03:28:47 PM »
The Mirage is a temple to endless fun because most of it isn't real.  Most of the patrons, the walls, the customers are illusions to add to atmosphere.  If you want a private room, after a few moments wait you have one.  If you want a table in the thick of things, one will clear itself.  All around you other "people" will enjoy food and drink, dance and frolic for the feel of a happening place.  The dance floor is never empty so you never feel alone, unless you request it.

Depending on your power level
A
If someone takes a fancy to an illusion, one of the well paid staff takes over for the illusion early on to prevent "issues"
B
The illusionist(s) is(are) powerful enough that the illusions are real, as long as you stay at the Mirage as a paying customer.
 

BillyBeanbag

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« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2006, 04:10:33 PM »
The Goat's Head Tavern

This little tavern was originally set in the town of Rassalantar, North of Waterdeep on The Long Road.

This one room tavern has much of the look and feel you'd expect to find in a watering-hole that caters as much to the locals as it does to traffic passing through town on the trade route.  The stone floor is set down three steps from the street and it keeps the smoke a little higher above the customer's heads than usual.  The center of the room has 6 long tables with benches on either side, with 8 booths along either side of the room. It is decorated with some of the adventuring spoils of the barkeep Roktar, a talented warrior whose parties adventures culminated in the defeat of a young dragon in the mountains to the north of town.

The far end of the room is dominated by the bar, a long oaken plank that is well polished and somewhat clean, and has several stools set in front of it for solitary customers, or for those waiting for a table or booth.  Opposite of the bar (and the steps entering the tavern) is a raised platform that serves as a stage during busy times when a bard or storyteller will perform for the crowd.

Rumor has it that Roktar has his eyes open for young adventurers to sponsor on their early quests.  The two wenches (a half-elf named Kitarosa, and a human maid named Daisy) are Roktar's most reliable sources of information.  The dwarven bouncer who only works at the busiest of times, is named Riktok the Rok, and has been known to throw troublemakers so far out the door that they land in the midden heap of the stables across the road.
-----------
I've got more written up for this at home if it needs further expansion- BBB
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
Dr. Seuss

Reefer Madness

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« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2006, 12:32:09 AM »
Illusions

Illusions is a grand tavern well known for its oddities and wonders. Ran by a host of spell casters of the illusionist sort, Illusions is a site to see.  You never know who or what will be serving you, or what you will walk into for that matter, though the city had to put their foot down after false fire followed by a false invasion of undead which caused widespread panic.

Many travellers go out of their way to stop by Illusions to see what new things are happening.  Things change all the time so you never know what you will walk into from a druids galde to a Pirate ship on the high seas (Though after several people got sea sick, they had to tone down the seas).  Very few people actually know what the Bar keeper and barmaids look like because they are always changing as well, from Minotaurs to multiple copies of the same person, Illusions is a site to see.

Illusions is owned and operated by the mages guild, and younger students who wish to follow the Illusionists path will put in some time at the tavern.  The tavern brings in a heafty ammount of money, and some trade due to the highly magical nature of the place. Over the years several barkeepers have came and gone, usually to put more work into study, the latest barkeep is a gnome illusionist named "Sunny Jim" who has a big and kind heart and makes sure no person, especially children, never go away hungry, or without a smile on their face.  Later in the evening when the children go home, things become more adult.  Security is always on hand though rarely needed, but when it is needed "Zain" is there....with his uncanny ability to spot trouble almost before it happens, fights and theives are few and far between....what very few know about zain is, he is infact a doppleganger who uses his powers to keep things calm.

Dammit just noticed Langs...
Turning all of our children into hooligans and whores its Reefer Madness.
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tleilaxu

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« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2006, 04:46:06 PM »
The Naughty Mermaid

This tavern in the dock district has a somewhat scandalous reputation as a locale where sailors can come to enjoy their shore leave. It's distinguishing feature is a brook which runs from outside, through the tavern, and out to the sea. The barman, Yu, is said to have mermish blood. The tavern is currently enjoying a 7-year blessing on its mead making it extra tasty. This blessing was granted by a grateful passing wizard, but the seven years are almost up, causing disquiet for Yu. He worries that the clientel which has built up during the blessed period will fade away, causing economic disaster, and is currently looking for solutions.
at the moment of sacrifice let no blood be spilled!

BOZ

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« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2006, 10:52:00 PM »
kickass thread.  :)
don't quote me on that.  :)

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