Yesterday, a guy mentioned an idea on another thread the despite context is actually quite clever.
An inn ran by a family of werebears. While the inspiration is a little silly (the Goldilocks story), myth and symbolism do associate bears with protection, hospitality and nurturing. "Mother Bear shares her catches", and all that. The idea of taking "shelter" under the protection of the bear and being fed and warmed by it, a homey spot in the wilderness, taps into an archetypical attraction.
In practical terms, you go and try to cause a fuss in a venue ran by Beorn and his sons.
What unusual, cool ideas for inns, pubs, taverns and other drinking/eating/gambling/housing establishments have you seen in your games?
I pretty much always run a Beorn-like character in every game I play.
Especially since I learnt Werebears are a thing.
He was even in shadowrun. My players think he's some sort of time traveling Bear Demigod.
Yep. I once had a faction of Werebear Paladins. If there was ever a group that my party did not want to fuck with, it was them. Even the Chaotic Stupid member kept on the right side of the line when dealing with them.
I seriously doubt any werebear is fat, they're probably swole as fuck not only because they're infected with a magical curse that makes them bear-like but because a bears diet is pretty fucking high in protein.
If you play anything other than human you're a race traitor piece of shit. If DM uses nonhumans as anything other than genocide fodder, he's a piece of shit.
Only death is repentance good enough for being subhuman scum.
>WereBearmaid suttering and apologising profusely after spilling your drink
The inn my party is starting off in is something of a hub, venturing back and forth and using it as their base of operations. It's massive and has grown over time with owners exchanging hands and bringing new ideas of business with them. Inn, tavern, gambling den, brothel, and even a boxing ring in one sub-level basement. The owner is a former adventurer something of a legend in her own right and a woman even the local Baron refuses to challenge thanks to her mythical stubbornness. The party's favorite serving girl is Coral, a mermaid who serves drinks around the bar by swimming in a water-filled barrel that she then shoves in her chosen direction.
I once played a fighter who everyone, even the DM, mistook for paladin because he was religious and chivalrous and spoke in Ye Olde English and used the word "smite".
When the DM said I fell, I pointed to FIGHTER 6 at my character sheet.
Ironically, he died of falling damage.
I can't remember what it was called, but the inn in my fantasy setting yet to be made is 'The Last Call'. The owner, Helvetica, is a bit sour mouthed and downcast at new adventurers wandering in her inn, but is willing to serve them and let them stay the night in the first few of the rooms upstairs and not to walk any further in the hall. Any further and you would find yourself walking forever, hearing creepy and unsettling noises as your surroundings slowly morph into something more ominous. If you linger around in the morning, she'd likely be in the bar, serving a packed room with the help of her lethargic, laz, and gorgeous servant girl Lottie. The patrons would look like they came from different parts of the world, yet each of them would understand each other and trade weird, fantastic, and horrible stories. The place is always packed until nightfall.
A small, drafty-but-not-cold tavern in the middle of Limbo.
Barkeep was a Warforged with half of its jaw missing, so it had an extreme lisp. It was happy to serve any lost souls or unfortunate living souls that ended up in Limbo.
Whose idea was it to make werebears lawful good?
Bears maul the shit out of people, they're vicious animals, yet when someone gets infected with the bear version of the condition that creates werewolves, they become lawful good protectors of society and nature?
All lycanthropes should be either chaotic evil or have no alignment because they're wild, uncontrollable beasts who eat people.
My DM for Shadowrun used "Mark's Bar" as his staple place to start runs, so I made that into a pun.
The local church has an inn and a bar. When you perform a task for the church, you are able to put your mark on a plaque in the bar for posterity. If you try to put your mark on a plaque without performing a task, you get zapped (usually non-lethally).
No matter what kind of party, my group usually bee-lines for the nearest in, all of which have, by convention, alliterating animal names. But once we decided to break the habit, and visited a tea-house instead.
So, a quiet tea-house with seperate huts in a Zen garden as lodgings, the main attraction of which are its library and being known as a spot for calm contemplation?
Erm, care to explain exactly what you mean by "stocky"? I always thought stocky was short and wide. Werebears would easily tower over your orc barbarian, nevermind you.
I'd imagine that werebear lass would be built like an amazon, and then covered with short fur.
And werebears, if I remember righ, don't like the suspicion and hatered that others display toward shapeshifters. They do, however, still have human senses most of the time, so they'd serve what any bed and breakfast would.
>myth and symbolism do associate bears with protection, hospitality and nurturing
You fucking what? Bears were so feared as solitary death-machines that several languages actually lost their original words for the creatures in taboo deformation.
>You fucking what? Bears were so feared as solitary death-machines that several languages actually lost their original words for the creatures in taboo deformation.
Depends on culture
I had an inn called the Slippery Scale in a town near a huge lake that served as the main adventuring hub. The entire town was protected by a pair of bronze dragons that lived in the enormous lake.
After a few centuries of pretending to be humans and building an inn they just threw off the disguise and decided they were bored of being innkeepers and went to the nearby lake to raise a clutch of eggs.
Their broken down inn was fixed up and is now run by one of their wyrmlings who goes by the name of Sparks. She's overly curious and typically gives free meals in exchange for adventurer stories. She's also naive and easily frightened considering she is literally a baby. Unfortunately she's too young to actually take human form which startles people from out of town. Luckily she's overcome the lack of hands by learning to cook and carry dishes with her tail. She also cooks free breakfast and gives out free appraisals for gems to customers. My players tell me she was one of their favorite characters.
Have a game coming up in about a week, players are going to meet up at a portside tavern called the Fightin' Crab. Named after a giant (Medium size category) fiddler crab that the bar owner keeps as a pet. Traveller's can challenge the crab to an arm wrestling contest. If they win, free room and board, but if they lose, they're buying everyone's drinks that night.
I once had a tavern that was owned by a great wizard known as The Prophecer, who had forgotten all about it since he's bat shit insane. Basically modeled after the professor from Futurama.
But the Inn is built in several different dimensions, all in the same place. Yeah, it's just about what it sounds like. The Prophesor found a point that aligns with several different dimensions while also, twisting the fabric, connecting even more dimensions, then made a bar on the resulting spot.
The rooms all sound like they have more occupants than they actually do. Sometimes, one can get lost, as the doorways sometimes acts as a Gate spell, teleporting them to a different dimension. The ethereal plane is the closest, an almost meld with the material plane, so it's possible, although rarely for one to meet with a dead ally for some socialization. The bartender is a simulacrum of the wizard who's mind has been altered. There's one in each dimension. He's forgotten about being a wizard an mainly knows only so much magic that's needed to maintain the bar. But ye gods, the profits from operating a bar in multiple dimensions is great. I still haven't figured out where all the profits go though.
Luckily in the material realm, it's built on top of the tallest mountain in the land. You won't reach it unless you're at least escorted by someone at least level 8. But the top is enchanted to bloom with grass and be comfortable.
I had an idea for a bar run solely by a gnome wizard and a liberal use of Unseen Servants and Mage Hand. There was a low chance that any drink bought from the bar would carry a random potion effect.
The Rascal Rendezvous
>a gritty wilderness inn that just happens to be exactly where t̉he adventurers need it to be on a dark, rainy night after a hard battle
>simple, unrecognizable furniture/design, and an unremarkable bartender
>party frequently finds similarly unremarkable inns in similar places with similar alliterative names, in similar places/situations
>inn of course has a spell on it similar to the room of requirement in harry potter or magic shop in howl's moving castle. party eventually realizes it's the same place every time
>side quest allows you to do a favor for the bartender and be rewarded with the "password," which can be uttered to summon the inn at will, but only at exactly 11:30 PM
>downside is untrustworthy and anonymous clientele who will kill, rape, or rob you before leaving for parts unknown in the morning
Tipsy Knight Tavern
>a huge commercial inn buried deep in the forest
>cheap beer by the gallons, charming atmosphere, gorgeous tavern girls who "serve more than a drink if they like how you wink"
>did i mention no one makes it out alive?
>once the sun comes up every guest is invited separately to the owner's office to pay up
>he is an extremely dangerous lich who will kill you and use your corpse as a prop on his sick stage
>the entire staff and most of the clientele have been dead for decades
>looks like shit
>buried in the back of some slimy alley in the hub city
>unfriendly guests and terrible service
>is actually a hub for high-level adventurers, important local leaders, and criminals to meet without drawing attention
>basically a test of the party's investigative skills, wits, and conversational play
>most players will pass this place up or never even hear about it
>those who do take notice are rewarded with incredible questing opportunities
>ultimate hipster inn, you probably havent heard of it
Isn't the only way to infect someone with warebear shit a bite? Or just the transmission of bodily fluids? Because I can see some werebear saliva+honey mead being sold at the inn if it can be transmitted that way.
Only by bite. It's a magical curse, not a pathogen. It's the act of the bite that does it.
Werebears are the only lycanthrope species which virtually never "infects" anyone, at least not on purpose. The vast majority of werebears are born.
Lawful-Good Werebear Family Inn sounds cozy and wonderful, and I may have to include them the next time I DM a setting that has a Great White North. I also have admit that the idea of a Burly, Warm-Hearted Barmaid sounds cozy and wonderful too.
My favorite inn/tavern I've encountered was a gigantic, old, ramshackle mess like the one pictured here. It was called Kings' Crossing because it was located at an important highlands crossroads between several of the setting's major kingdoms, and was built atop the ruins of an even older fort. It was a strange, strange place that had developed a reputation over the centuries of being the Semi-Official Capital of Adventuring on the continent, so much so that in many places adventurers were bemusedly referred to as Kings or Kingsmen. It was filled with artifacts and ghosts and delights and dangers, with a floorplan that was claimed to shift and change from time to time. I recall that many of its customers and staff were non-human, and included a warforged bouncer who may or may not have actually been functional, a large family of diminutive ratfolk that worked as maids, stablehands and general go-fors, a literal hulking behemoth of a barmaid who liked acting as a wingwoman and matchmaker, and the foul-tempered ghost of a king who'd been murdered there centuries ago.
My country has a very small roleplaying community. A side effect of this is that the few existing forums are known by everyone, and most players have met in real life. Many have been personally or romantically involved, and relationships grow over years. The community has powerful, unique traditions.
One of it is a play-by-post game ran about twice a year. It is GMless and has no predetermined setting, except for a pub named "The One-Eyed Weasel". Everyone comes to that pub. They can be characters from any setting, genre or world. Their only goal is to interact, over the course of the night.
It has ran for years. Many times, it ran as planned. In others, the characters left the pub. In some, they went on to go on grand, universe hopping adventures in the vein of Sliders or Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles. There's never a GM. Even when people go on adventures, the community is tight-knit and private enough that everyone knows to play fair and cooperate with others. It flows like improvised theater.
I'm proud to have been part of what is often remembered as the greatest such game that there was. It was the first time people thought to leave the pub, and we went on an epic, unforgettable, several months long adventure (with hundreds of posts per day).
Main characters included a feisty modern descendent of the goddess Athena, a philosophical Viking ghost, a 50's horror film alien conqueror, a confused Russian gangster and Citriel, the archangel of oranges (her divine powers included communication with and the spontaneous creation of oranges. Not manderines, though. That's outside her purview.)
Do bears eat humans? I mean, they would under certain circumstances, but I don't think it's anywhere near their normal diet. I don't think they even go for big animals all that much. Mostly it's like... rodents and fish, right? Bears aren't fast enough (nor do they hunt in a pack, meaning they can only use so many tactics) to catch stuff like deer, and they eat a lot of... berries and such otherwise.
Bears generally don't care to bother humans, but when a bear gets shit happy it gets shit happy.
A bear could just not want to be bothered one day and decide if you push it it's going to rip your throat out, eat some of you and then leave you to die.
There was a thing a little while back about a place letting the bear and wolf pens mix. For the most part the bear didn't give a shit about the wolves and just did its own thing, then one day it decided it was extra hungry and ripped a wolf's head clean off.
its actually a swarm of sentient mice dressed up as a Gnome Wizard, so they have enough spell slots to run said bar.
i rather imagine they'd be "fat" in the way those guys in the "worlds strongest man" contests are, thick around the middle but thats just the base for the shoulders and arms like iron
I've been doing some world building, and I've been wanting to do fantasy fast food resturants ran by tanuki wizards.
Not sure what sorts of food to do.
Sake and bar food.
Tanuki fucking love their booze.
There could also be a group that specialize in using their skills to do really obnoxiously fancy dishes with an emphasis on presentation and transformation - like webm related but more so.
Marmalade is a fruit preserve made from the juice and peel of citrus fruits boiled with sugar and water. It can be produced from kumquats, lemons, limes, grapefruits, mandarins, sweet oranges, bergamots and other citrus fruits, or any combination thereof.
/r/ing the story of the evil PC that was cursed as a Werebear, and would awake to find himself in compromising positions in the woods (usually surrounded by half-eaten salmon) in the woods, having gone back and righted his previous wrongs whenever he'd shifted.
>Wakes up, covered in dirt
>Looks at hands
>"No... no... What have I done!"
>Last night, he secretly brought catches of fish and berries to the doorsteps of hungry farmers
>Caught bandits who were plaguing the roads - incapacitating them nonlethally and leaving them for the authorities
>Tilled the fields of an old widow (that's where the dirt is from)
>Carried a bunch of orphans on his back across the river
>Engaged in Shakespearean comedy shenanigans in the nearby woods, scaring a pair of young lovers by making noises from the brush until they ran into each other and rekindled their relationship
>Appeared in the right time to inspire a suicidal man from jumping off a bridge
>Last night, he secretly brought catches of fish and berries to the doorsteps of hungry farmers
Wouldn't the fish rot by morning? Wouldn't it just bring disease and ruin the berries?
Anyone here's an expert on fishing and knows how long it takes for freshly caught fish to go bad at night?
Not necessarily, providing a safe haven for the righteous while abiding by the law can do more for the cause of good than a hundred quests. Whose going to feed those hungry adventurers? Where do they meet and plan? Where do they receive their quests to even begin with?
The answer is a Tavern, the hub for adventurers since the days of Tolkien and the Prancing Pony.
From a quick search, the internet gives fish 2 hours before going bad if not preserved. Fucking harsh. How did people do that before refrigeration? Like, you're on your boat catching fish and all. Wouldn't your catch be all rotten by the time you got back to your smokehouse?
Or Rivendell, or THE HOUSE OF BEORN, which served similar purposes back in The Hobbit, except to an even larger degree. None of this "pay out your nose for a bowl of gruel and a place by the firepit". Master bedroom, medical treatment, luxurious dinner and breakfast, a full day of recovery at the least, free use of local amenities, and a new horse, supplies, advice and equipment before you leave.
Heck of a deal.
We ran an inn once. it didn't end well. We burned the place down and attacked the city watch while trying to avoid two drunkards to break a table. Then we decided to open a store to sell goods. Well, we caused it to sunk into the ground on the first week trying to prevent a robbery. I guess we are too god damn overpowered to try to be simple townspeople. Jokes on the DM I guess.
Fish depends on the climate. During winter the meat freezes over, preserving it. If you can hang it in a dry spot it'll dry out but that works best if you've salted it. During the summer we're talking a few hours but in dry and windy conditions it may turn to jerky. Traditionally you smoke fish and that should keep for a few months. If it's raining it'll probably be unsafe by morning but if you hang it from the door during either a drought or a cold winter it should keep for atleast a day if not longer.
Berries, on the other hand, should keep for at least a week as long as the skin isn't broken. Even if they are beginning to go bad you can cook out the rot and make them into a preserve like jam.
Then again, this depends on what your food standards are. Scandinavia enjoys fermented fish as a staple food. If people have to eat partially rotten food on a regular basis they tend to build up an immunity so a pre-industrial village with good fishing spots might eat day old fish on a regular basis.
Then again, I'm basing this on food preservation tricks rather than first hand experience dealing with rotten fish. Some places keep the fish alive until sale for a reason.
Well, you do have to run a business but there's no reason you can't extend tabs or let people pay for meals with chores. Push comes to shove you can consider tabs paid in exchange for quests completed. "Go run off those goblins and I'll forget about the 30 silver you owe me".
Not the most profitable way to run a business but most of the adventurer population would vouch for you.
Correct me if Im wrong but I cant remember any D&D God that declared all races bar theirs need to be destroyed that was a Human God.
I think Gruumsh had a similar deal. Orcus sorta.
There isn't always that much work that needs done. More likely the creditor would want some of the deatbeat tenants' adventuring gear as barter.
Or, if you're in a setting with more of an ancient or dark age vibe, you could just say that people have a tradition of guest right and will let you stay in their houses for a little while because you might be a god in disguise.
>What unusual, cool ideas for inns, pubs, taverns and other drinking/eating/gambling/housing establishments have you seen in your games?
For context: The game takes place in alternate-world modern day China. One of the PC's little sister works in a so-called Remington Saloon which is a hilariously inaccurate and cheesy rendition of a 50s-style cafe crossed with a wild west chic saloon.
It's probably every single american cliché you can imagine, except they still serve rice alongside their hamburgers.
I once had an inn that turned out to be a front for a cult.
Named it Hotel Kali because Im an unimaginative motherfucker.
You could stay the night, check out but you could never leave. You were either recruited or kidnapped as a sacrifice.
IIRC, Wastri is a big time human supremacist, although he believes that amphibious races such as bullywugs are fit to serve humans as slaves. All other races need to be destroyed, especially gnomes.
I simply love this idea, I think I'll use it myself. A centuries old, enormous tavern simply known as "The Inn at the Crossroads". With all kinds of quest hooks and downtime activities. A sanctuary for all adventurer's with some sort of neutrality pact made generations ago, stopping violent encounters, but allowing sparring and bar-fights.