Barroom Brawls (PFRPG) PDF

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A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game compatible GM’S RESOURCE by Creighton Broadhurst

Barroom brawls are one of the quintessential events that occur in taverns, inns and pubs of a certain quality. Alcohol mixed liberally with folk used to solving problems with violence is an explosive combination. The great thing about barroom brawls, though, is that although people get hurt, it’s rare that anyone dies. This means the players can let their hair down and try some crazy stuff they’d never try in a “proper” battle. And yet, brawls feature in comparatively few adventures these days. Complicated to run, requiring an understanding of little-used rules such as nonlethal damage and improvised weapons, they can be a GM’s worst nightmare!

Barroom Brawls provides the tools to quickly and easily run an exciting, flavoursome brawl. Including useful handouts for the players as well as extensive notes for the GM, Barroom Brawls is the perfect excuse to put away your longsword and belt someone over the head with a chair!

This product is a Dual Format PDF. The downloadable ZIP file contains two versions, one optimised for printing and use on a normal computer and one optimised for use on a mobile device such as an iPad.

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Raise spirits and pints for pugilists everywhere--let bawdy brawls commence!


'Barroom Brawls' by Creighton Broadhurst provides quick, concise and easily accessible mechanics for a given gaming group to throw down, flip tables and get into a bawdy brawl at a moment's notice. With a variety of fun prompts and at-a-glance inspirations, the material herein could be used for a planned out plot and introduction of hooks or characters--or simply spontaneous mayhem after a hard adventuring session for rowdy rabble-rousers to cut loose and let off some steam. Let's take a look at what it entails to really get the fisticuffs flying!

It's likely safe to say that there is a frightening drought of drunken brawls in most adventuring circles--and that for all the origins of organized groups springing forth from gathering at a tavern, far too few fisticuffs accompany most tales as they unfold. Tongue-in-cheek aside, like as not folks generally don't delve into such situations simply to avoid flipping through books to round up the appropriate mechanics--and thus Creighton's endeavor to bring together a nice collection of the lot makes for a very practical product.

We begin with a general overview of the elements of a barroom brawl--which breaks down into the Brawl Trigger or catalyst for the coming chaos; a collection of twenty triggers are provided with descriptions of prompts which might begin a given fight, which one could simply pick or roll randomly. After this are Brawl Events, sudden and unexpected twists which might change the 'terrain' of the tavern, shift the fight out into the streets or simply see some random sod smashing a chair over the back of one of the PCs--these serve to add a lot of spice and flavor to a given bout of fisticuffs. Again, these could be picked or rolled at your leisure.

Of course, the brawls can't all be fun and games--for next comes the Brawl Aftermaths, potential consequences and outcomes for once all the dust and chandeliers have settled. Some of these are simple enough--damages and expenses as a result from rowdiness in a given establishment--while others offer potential hooks or opportunities for characters; perhaps the brawl served as cover for a robbery, or the proprietor was so impressed by a particular PC that they're then offered employment! This was one of my favorite sections of the supplement.

After these flavorful sections we have on tap a collection of sample brawlers for ready use; an iconic barkeep, a merchant, a member of the town watch and a sergeant-at-arms are offered as potential participants. We're also presented with collected rules for non-lethal damage and maneuvering about a changing 'battlefield' as tables are overturned and drinks are spilled--Barroom Brawls also includes an amusing set of new conditions by way of Tipsy, Drunk and Hammered to toss out to tavern-goers at the table.

Finally, we wrap up with sections on taproom features and improvised weapons--both of which are suggested as print-outs for brawl participants, such that a given player can quickly eyeball their options before wading in tankards akimbo. On the whole, the mechanics are simple and straightforward, but no less sweet because of it--not only are there readily available references for a variety of improvised weapons to be found about a taproom melee, Creighton's gone and put together furniture presented as terrain features.

Alongside the spontaneous events to start a tavern brawl or to occur during a brawl in progress, the sheer novelty of having these sorts of mechanics grouped cleanly and concisely makes for a fast and fun experience--while avoiding headaches (though the same cannot be said of the brawl's participants!)

My only complaint regarding the mechanics herein is more a minor wish--I'd have loved to see the premise taken as an opportunity to include a set of new combat maneuvers flavored for pub-bound pugilists (e.g. a dirty trick splash of ale, etc.) Nevertheless, the mechanics are well thought-out, very functional and quick to pick up--introducing the system to a given game should prove a snap.

Ultimately, Barroom Brawls is added fun--easy to implement and use and a nice change of pace from pounding (or being pounded by) ogres and their ilk. Personally, I'm fondest of the proposition within to utilize a good old-fashioned tavern brawl as a means of introducing rival adventurers to a party of players--but at the end of the day, it's precisely the sort of affordable supplement that serves splendidly in any GM's toolbox for a rainy day.

Overall: 'Barroom Brawls' is 15 pages, with 7 occupied by the cover, credits, introduction, OGL and an advertisement; this leaves us with 8 pages of pugilistic prompts, props and purveyors spread between example brawlers, a few easy to use random charts and ready reference to print for participants to make a throw-down easy to orchestrate. Raging Swan's high standards for editing and formatting continue in this concise mix with some nicely flavorful black and white artwork interspersed with the material presented (including of course frothy tankards aplenty.) The layout is unsurprisingly clean and professional--and as always there are very welcome elements of convenience, from thorough PDF book-marking to the material being nicely printer-friendly. Top marks.

'Barroom Brawls' is short, sweet and entertaining in its offering of easy-to-use rules for ruining the taprooms of beleaguered barkeeps everywhere. While more powerful adventuring parties would require a bit more prep if the intent is to give an equal challenge (though certainly sometimes, a given group may just enjoy mopping the floor with patrons), inside are handy inspirations and reference material for chaotic bar 'battlefield' conditions and improvised weapons from tankards to table legs. This is a shot-glass-sized supplement that packs a punch; Creighton Broadhurst has done a fine job of bringing together a thematic and functional collection of rules that are apt to bring a breath of fresh air to any table's adventures.

If you're looking for an interesting way to introduce new hooks or characters with a classic approach or just keen for an unexpected change of pace, this is a fine way to pull it off. Pound for pound, the material herein serves to expand options for entertainment at a very affordable price; grab it, print some quick reference sheets for your players and embrace a bawdy brawl! Raising a pint to cheer Creighton's creativity, I've got to give Barroom Brawls an enthusiastic five stars.

Useful, concise and extremely affordable - a must-have


This pdf is 15 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC/foreword, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving 8 pages of content, so let's check this out!

Brawls in taverns are among the quintessential iconic experiences of adventuring life and I gladly and fondly recall reading about a certain Cimmerian's exploits in bars. In PFRPG, though, the overall execution of the bar brawl is problematic - several rarely used rules are utilized in bar brawls, including improvised weapons, unarmed combat etc. This pdf now aims to help beleaguered DMs to run the iconic bar fights, so how does this work?

First of all, we have to get the action started, potentially with one of 20 new barroom brawl triggers and then the action starts - a one-page d%-table provides ample special events to simulate the chaos of such a brawl, including tipped beer kegs, fire etc. Of course, a table of aftermath consequences of such a brawl are provided as well and might make for a variety of adventure hooks.

What's a brawl without brawlers, though and thus stats for barkeeps, merchants and watchmen are included in the pdf as well. Rather cool, we also get 3 new conditions: Tipsy, drunk and hammered, all three with their progressively increasing bonuses, but also with slowly accumulating penalties. Two thumbs up for these conditions that make scaling between states of drunkenness possible!

Of course, as we all know, brawls are cool because they utilize a variety of taproom features - from kegs to tables to stools, a table deals with neatly-aligned acrobatics and strength DCs for you to consult: Want to know what it takes to overturn a full keg? And which benefits you can get (e.g. higher ground)? Consult the table and you'll have the Str-DC, acrobatics-DCs etc. all neatly lined up!

The deal is completed by yet another page helping with the most common of improvised weapons, 12 to be precise, ranging from stools to tables and mugs.

Editing and formatting are top-notch, as I've come to expect from RSP. Layout adheres to RSP's elegant 2-column printer-friendly b/w-standard and the artworks provided are neat. The pdf comes with extensive bookmarks and a printer-friendly extra version. Hell yeah! This pdf is one of the most useful little pdfs out there. Even if you haven't prepared anything in advance, this little, humble file enables you to run an interesting, exciting bar brawl. The respective rules are concisely presented and the information on the respective components is easy to locate. Were I to utter any form of criticism, then that I would have loved to see more actions with sample DCs (climb up stairs, jump from table to table or head, etc.) and even more events and improvised weapons - to cut my ramble short: I want more! Seeing the extremely low price and the stellar content, I'll essentially am forced to all-out recommend this stellar little pdf. You'll be hard-pressed to find a 2-buck file as fun and useful as this one. My final verdict will be 5 stars + Endzeitgeist seal of approval.

Sovereign Court Raging Swan Press

Is now available - and is jolly smashing! (Do you see what I did there?)

Sovereign Court Raging Swan Press

I forgot to mention - you can grab a free sample download here!

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber


Reviewed here, on DTRPG and sent to GMS magazine. Cheers!

Hey End, how would you say this PDF holds up once higher-level (10th +) characters get involved? Does it address any of the things high level characters might try in a brawl?

High-level bar-brawls...well, honestly, no. But that would be an AWESOME idea for a sequel! Hmmm, with all these talks about crossover-products, what about a Raging Swan barroom brawl in the tarnished souk of RiP?

Sovereign Court Raging Swan Press

Curses. You enjoyed the PDF. I was looking for an excuse to start a fight with you!


Sovereign Court Raging Swan Press

Dungeon Grrrl wrote:
Hey End, how would you say this PDF holds up once higher-level (10th +) characters get involved? Does it address any of the things high level characters might try in a brawl?

That's a very interesting idea - high-level barroom brawls. I think the basic principles of the PDF stand up well, but it doesn't cover such subjects as high-level magic and such like. Also, the PDF does not contain suitable opponents for high-level brawlers.

Perhaps I'll have to think of some kind of sequel!

Thanks for the idea!

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

As a regular GM, these type of products are incredibly useful. The situation comes up often (taverns/barroom brawls), and so having what I need all in one place is a big deal. Moreover, help in making that situation more creative is another big plus.

Personally, I would love to see more and more of these type of products. The line of random encounters, treasure generation, and NPC generation are right on the money. I want to see more! Take in-game situations that you run into often, and create these style of products around them. Keep them coming!

Sovereign Court Raging Swan Press

Thanks for the kind words - that's jolly decent of you! Do you have any suggestions for future installments in this line? I'm all ears!

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Chase obstacles, on horse and in the city, woods etc.
Aerial chases.
Escapes from collapsing dungeons.
Aerial navigation in a vast tempest/tornado (A cow is coming our way!).
Conflicts while climbing and rocks fall.
Any spontaneous catastrophe-rules for torrents, earthquakes etc.

From the top of my head. ;)

Dark Archive

Cheers, Creighton! I've added my review.

Nice review, Gozuja!

Dark Archive

Thanks, End; I think we're in the same boat when it comes to follow-up materials too. Things like chase decks and the like go a long way to mixing things up at the table, so I'm all for additional supplements that bring new flavors of challenges for PCs.

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Creighton Broadhurst wrote:
Thanks for the kind words - that's jolly decent of you! Do you have any suggestions for future installments in this line? I'm all ears!

End beat me to it! =) In addition I would like to see roleplay-only encounters. You do have some of these in the random encounter series, but I would like to see a supplement with this in mind, solely. Also, perhaps random bar scenes, market scenes, etc - what is the scene when the PCs arrive.

Also, along the lines of the what's for sale, how about one for mundane items like you would see in a typical town marketplace, and one for caravans, etc.

I'm not sure where this would fit, but how about "What are the laws?" series that offers a random collection of laws based on a general these (monarchy, oligarchy, etc), how they are enforced, typical encounters based on some of the punishments, etc.

As I run across situations, I will give a shout out. Thanks again for all of these great products!

Sovereign Court Raging Swan Press

This is awesome! Not only do I get another great review, but also some rather cool ideas for new products. Thanks chaps; I really appreciate it!

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