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Source GameMastery Guide pg. 198
It’s an understatement to say that the tavern is a staple location in the fantasy genre. It’s the perfect place for the PCs to meet up, conduct business, and wind down after an adventure. Shady characters abound in taverns and all manner of activities, legal or otherwise, can take place beneath their smoke-filled ceilings. Unfortunately, the tavern’s ubiquity is such that players may treat it as something of a running joke. Unless you’re willing to inject some variation into your taverns, the PCs will continually run into the same staple of surly bartenders, busty barmaids, and drunken patrons itching to get into a brawl at the drop of a hat.

This chapter looks at ways to add some variety into your campaign’s taverns, inns, and restaurants, making them into memorable experiences that can liven up the phrase “So, you all meet in a tavern...”


Source GameMastery Guide pg. 198
By definition, a tavern is a business where customers can purchase alcoholic beverages. Sounds simple enough, right? But just as with modern bars, a fantasy tavern can be far more than just a place to get a flagon of ale. Defining what characters can find within a particular tavern goes a long way toward giving the place a unique feel.

Staff and Patrons

Source GameMastery Guide pg. 199
Once you’ve determined the services of a tavern or inn, you need to populate it. Usually it’s not necessary to create game statistics for the staff or patrons. If your players have a penchant for starting brawls, however, you can find stat blocks for some common bar staff and customers in Chapter 9. To determine what staff and patrons are working at or patronizing a tavern or inn, use the Tavern random encounter table on page 213 and adjust the numbers according to the size of the establishment.