Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tavern Tables

I found this fun little product free on RPGNow. If you get a chance it is well worth a look no matter what genre you're playing. Tavern Tables has a series of random tables to help a GM pull together a tavern in a few rolls. The first two tables (d100) are to name the tavern. The first table is the adjective and the second is the noun. An example I rolled was "The Mournful Stableboy". Sounds like a Monty Python skit. A simple mechanism that can create 1000s of names.

The next series of nine tables (these are all d6) are for tavern features, such as the quality, cleanliness and size of the place. The next three check prices, the variety of food and the quality of the food and drink. And the last three tables determine how crowded it is, how loud it is and if all those favorite dark corners that adventurers love to hog are taken or even if there are any. So let's continue on with the Mournful Stableboy. It's a fair quality tavern, that is sparkling clean, but a little cramped. The prices are cheap, but the owner has connections and can get almost any kind of drink or food all of which tastes 'interesting'. Unfortunately the Mournful Stableboy is empty most of the time and because very few people patronizethe tavern it is always very quiet. And one dark corner is occupied by the sleeping bouncer. I made up the bouncer bit.

The next series of 15 tables (all d6 again) will help a GM describe a notable patron. I won't go through all the tables to make an example, but these tables could help a GM create any NPC they need to whip up details on the spot. I'll call our patron Gunther. Gunther is heavily cloaked with wild red hair and eyes of a mad mage, no pupil or iris, all of it covered in dark gray. His startling appearance is countered by his cheerful mood. He will not say what he does for a living, but he always seems to be carrying a book that he never lets out of his sight (if he sees at all). He entertains the others by doing card tricks, but never gets involved with gambling. Gunther was created by using half the tables available. I've added my own extra details, but the tables lend themselves to allow the GM to create something fresh with little nudges from the tables.

Next tables are when a good old donnybrook breaks out. There are 9 d6 tables. The first three decide how many opponents there are, what actions they take and what skill they are fighting at. Then the other six tables determine how much trouble you are in. Let's say Gunther gets into a brawl at the Mournful Stableboy (which will be difficult since no one goes there, but let's pretend they have stripping dryad night and its packed). The brawl starts with four people whacking one another and Gunther, despite his weird freaky eyes is sweeping the floor with his opponent. But his consequence is he must leave town now because he killed the man he fought. Now we know why the stableboy is mournful, it lost its one faithful customer.

The final page is a few examples of patrons that were rolled up. This is where I would have preferred to see a random drink and food tables. I think that would have completed the product.

My recommendation is get Tavern Tables. It's a great little supplement. Oh, and did I mention it's free. Hannah "Swordgleam" Lipsky of Chaotic Shiny Productions did a great job. Give their webpage a look and download Tavern Tables.


  1. Thanks for pointing this out. I'll be building a city tonight and this will definitely come in handy.

  2. What a find! Thank you very much for sharing.

  3. Thanks for the heads up! Some good stuff there!

  4. Glad you like it! I had a lot of fun making it, and it's good to see people enjoying it.

    If you want more table fun, you can get Trader Tables and Terror Tables (which is quite silly) free by signing up for the newsletter on the site.

    By the way, have you considered enabling name/url comments on your blog? It's a lot more convenient, and you'll probably get more comments.