So What's The Tavern Like, Anyway? (PFRPG) PDF

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A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatible GM's Resource by Richard Green and Liz Smith

Once again, your PCs have emerged from the dungeon ready to celebrate their victory or raise tankards to their fallen comrades. Returning to town they ask “So what’s the tavern like, anyway?” At that point, likely or not the GM glosses over the tavern or wildly improvises!

Unsurprisingly, PCs spend a lot of their time between adventures relaxing in taverns and inns, but often such locales end up being drab, one-dimensional affairs with no real characteristics or flavour of their own. So What’s The Tavern Like, Anyway? banishes this problem by presenting dozens of tables covering the tavern’s offering, customers and staff along with extensive notes on games of chance, drinking songs and more!

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So What is the Tavern Like Anyway.....honestly, if you are not familiar with this series yet, and you are a GM I have this feeling you fall into one of three categories...that GM who glazes over everything whilst his players walk through a land of vanilla drabness, the frantic nervous wreck of a GM who just spent the last six days detailing every possible thing in a community, praying her play-group will actually interact with something, anything to make it worth it. Or, the control freak, the person who literally is above the rest of us, who has designed their world down to the count and color of pebbles on their beaches...I tend to think a great deal of GM's fall somewhere in between the first and second, and that is why this series is so awesome and a must have. Every installment in this series tackles another topic/theme. This time out, it happens to be the classic tavern, as so many adventurers do spend a great deal of time in them, but short of returning to the same tavern, in the same town over and many times have you heard yourself give the same boring description of a tavern to your players? Want to change that with a method that will require about a minute of your life, if that?

Let us take for example, The Abandoned Dragon. With a bad reputation for pickpockets, and a huge painting on the wall of the current landlord battling a dragon single-handed (This never happened – the landlord has always worked in pubs but dreams of adventure), this alehouse's specialty is fish cooked in ale with mashed swede and potato. A young lad with a shaved head and multiple piercings leans against the wall behind the bar. Answering to Wennig, he is the alehouse's excellent cook, fish and seafood being his specialty. Grodor, a short bearded bartender pours beers agonizingly slow behind the bar, much to the frustration of his thirsty customers.

So, that took longer to type then it did to put together...minute and a half...grand total. Starting to get the idea why the books of this series are so valuable? Mass charts, organized by the old school random dice roll, some by the d20, others by percentile...or simply waggle your finger, close your eyes and stab. Point is, it makes designing on the fly so much easier.

You've got lists for names of taverns, example customers, staff, menu items, drinks, events, interesting features and features...folks, if you can't design a tavern to full realization from this book in just a few short dice rolls that will thrill your need to check their pulses, there might be something wrong...just saying.

Now...lots of lists with a lot of hidden gems, hooks to let you build off of, a child seeking a father who has been missing for over a day, a disguised ruler amongst his subjects, thieves starting a brawl to cover a theft...and many more easy to use hooks to engage your players...but then we get to an interesting section of this collection, and things take a turn, toward immersion. I love the idea of a product that gives me something I can use to further immerse my players in the world I am describing, so a selection of lyrics for bards to be singing in the taverns the players will be finding themselves within is nothing but pure win in my book!

Ending with a section detailing popular barroom games, with mechanics to let your players engage in them, everything from dice games to drinking games, jousting with brooms to that time honored classic, arm wrestling. An excellent way to end this collection of features to enhance the classic tavern beyond the typical glazed over boring descriptions it has suffered through for far to long.

Raging Swan continues to impress me with their releases, an easy 5 stars and well worth the price of admission.

All you need to make taverns more interesting (apart from Barroom Brawls)


This pdf is 23 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages editorial, 1 page advertisement, 1 page ToC/foreword, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving 16 pages of content, so let's check this out!

As with all the pdfs in this series, this installment kicks off with a bunch of tables - to be precise, 100 tavern name descriptors and 100 tavern name descriptors and 50 ready to go tavern names. After these basics, we get a two-page spread table on interesting tavern features ranging from paintings of raunchy fey to excellent cuisines and leaking roofs - neat! Even better, we get two pages of sample customers and 2 pages of sample staff NPCs in short write-ups to populate your taverns.

Even better, sample food and drink is provided, 3 d20-lists for different poor fares (drinks, food and house specialties), 3 d20-lists for common lists and the same for good fare - awesome to add spice, quite literally to an adventure's fare.

Even better, since taprooms are a place of encounters, we get a total of 100 different taproom events and 50 different forms of taproom entertainment. And then the awesomeness amps up: We get 3 perfectly spelled out sample songs for bards to recite in taverns as well as two pages of different forms of entertainment like arm wrestling, broom jousting, tavern dice games etc. - all with different rules that are provided for your convenience.

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP's two-column standard in b/w and the pdf comes in two versions, one for the printer and one for screen use. The pdfs are fully bookmarked.

This installment of the "So what's..."-series is just plain awesome and up to the highest standard of any installment, providing detail upon stellar detail at your fingertips, offering cool tavern-games etc. - and honestly, I would have loved more tavern songs and games! Especially when combined with RSP's excellent Barroom Brawls, this pdf makes for a truly stellar offering that should not be missing from any DM's library - hell, if you're running an urban campaign, the staff and customers alone might make for awesome pdf, but combines with the cool lists and the awesome games, we're in for a vast amount of fun. Now I want a sequel to this and a high-level barroom brawl-pdf! My final verdict? 5 Stars + seal of approval!

Endzeitgeist out.

Sovereign Court Raging Swan Press

Is now available at Paizo!

Why not grab a free sample and see how awesome this is!

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

Sovereign Court Raging Swan Press

Jig of happiness! Thanks once again, Thilo! A sequel, you say...

Yes, there is dire need for more books like this and indeed,a second barroom brawl...

Thanks! Glad you liked it. Maybe I'll get asked to write more songs for any sequel - I wasn't sure how they'd go down.

Sovereign Court Raging Swan Press

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Perhaps a sequel could cover different race's taverns? Dwarf, elf, etc.? That might be quite cool!

That would be awesome!

Thanks for the great review! Really glad you liked it!

Review here and on excellent addition to the series.

Sovereign Court Raging Swan Press

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Wow! Thanks for the awesome review. This made me very happy!

Thanks for the excellent review, KTFish7

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Need to pick this up...

Yes, thanks for the review and I'm glad you liked it.

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