Tangible Taverns: Trio of Taverns (PFRPG) PDF

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Trio of Taverns, the third installment in the Tangible Taverns line, features not one, but, you guessed it, three taverns. Give your players the chance to explore what happens when a capable barbarian known for beheading his opponents falls in love with jam making and settles down to open his own shop, or let your players try to seduce a city noble by taking her to the classiest and most romantic tavern in town, or just stick with the basics and let them dance the night away with great entertainment and delicious food, while avoiding the shadier elements.

This instalment of Tangible Taverns brings you three smaller scale taverns each with rumour and event tables, a tavern map, and a description of frequent faces about the establishment (which include names, physical features and personalities for some tavern employees and patrons).

With all that, more original artwork than ever before, and "More Faces at the Tavern", featuring NPCs ready to be slotted into the tavern your PCs are visiting, you are all set to have some role-playing fun when your PCs stop off for a drink.

Like the troublesome mischievous creature we are named after, dire rugrat publishing delights in bringing a little excitement to what could have otherwise been a peaceful, though perhaps comparably dull evening at the local tavern. Our line of books, Tangible Taverns, is designed to bring life back to the much visited watering hole, a common setting while adventurers are on the road.

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An Endzeitgeist.com review

5/5

This installment of the Tangible Taverns-series clocks in at 26 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, 1.5 pages advertisement leaving us with 20.5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

After a brief introduction, we dive right into the first tavern of the trinity, the Angelic Imp: Dim, yet romantically lit, with red candles and vases of red and white roses, the tavern utilizes a romanticized aesthetic oscillating between the reds of passion (associated with blood and sin) and the purity of white - this is the place to go when you're looking for a prime spot for a discrete candlelight dinner with excellent accompanying food - from grilled swordfish to saffron-tomato seafood stew and jasmine rice, the food did make my mouth water a bit; while the pdf does not sport menus with sample prices for the dishes, the tavern itself is fully mapped in a player-friendly little, functional map. The angelic imp, as such, has a reputation for privacy and rumors (4 of which are provided in pretty nice detail) are usually something you'd stumble across outside of the establishment. The 6 sample events provided deal with the obviously exquisite and delicate nature of the place; with customers being enraged at the prices of the bill, an artificial wine shortage and love and lust reciprocated or denied, the events fit well within the context of the tavern. Bellamy Brook, the establishment's owner, receives the full NPC treatment (expert/sorceror multiclass, just fyi), while his striking server Malena is provided as a detailed write-up, including stats. There is also a love-triangle/jealousy-story waiting in the wings, with Albright Ansuer, son of a self-made man and bored and spoiled aristocratic debutante Jenna Saunderville featuring fluffy write-ups and quite some potential for intriguing scenes. EDIT: The ad that was here before is now gone, replaced with a nice piece of b/w-artwork. Kudos!

But perhaps the PCs aren't the biggest fans of romance. Well, then Blackberry Bill's may be what their looking for - small and cozy, with a focus on pastries and the like, the tavern is run by the eponymous Blackberry Bill...who is btw. a brutal pugilist with some serious class levels - the grizzled dwarf is indeed a former adventurer and those stuffed heads on the wall...they're not hanging there for nothing. Famous for his jams and massive infatuation with blackberries, Bill may not have the best people skills, but his food makes up for that. His waitress, Braybin Mockingson, a speckled and energetic halfling seems to make up for that in energy and impulse. A total of 6 rumors, from tall tales about Bill's adventuring days to how in fact his blackberry creations reached their level of deliciousness, are provided. Now Bill, obviously, is relying on a secret patch of blackberries and hence, his obsessions with the fruits feature in the sample events: From experimental dishes to the quest for ever more blackberry recipes, thefts, customers bringing a cockatrice into the shop or kids gone missing near the patch...the adventuring potential is there and diverse/creative.

The third of the taverns featured herein would be the Pattering Platypus - and unlike the previous two, this one has an explicitly stated menu that changes by weekday, though it sports no prices. Much like the previous two taverns, the tavern comes with detailed and well-crafted prose depicting the owner, Titus Muldoon as well as Devon Winterhall and a local celebrity bard. Devon, just fyi, does get full stats and is a maneuver master monk that can make for an interesting bouncer. It should be noted that the food here is pretty much diner fare - with burgers in all but name, delicious fried chicken - and before you start complaining about anachronism here - there are reliable accounts on frying practices in the 17th century and considering that magic and our default setting come closer to the early modern period than the middle ages, I am fine with that. The rumors featured here deal mostly with the NPCs mentioned before and patrons misbehaving; in direct contrast, these are the weakest among the rumors/events herein - they aren't bad, mind you - just not as diverse.

Now, the pdf also has more people to add to the respective taverns -we have an amethyst-eyed punk-aesthetic gnome sorceress looking for thrills and fun and her gruff, practical and realistic elven friend. You can also encounter Dizzy Izzy (full stats included), disheveled-looking and rather successful mesmerist/conman/information-broker or the charming, intelligent Harding von Orcson, gentlemen trader; you can try to best local legend Pie-eating Pete (fully statted), encounter an eccentric, but harmless pretend-noble. Finally, there is the powerful guard captain Ervyn Blackwall and his mount (again, full stats included); always a likely source of employment for adventurers or a powerful foil for less scrupulous forces. So yes,a dding these beings to taverns (or just scavenging them for other purposes) increases the conflict/adventuring potential for the respective places by quite a bit!

EDIT: In a REALLY cool service for the customers, a plaer-friendly collection of all maps can now be found, all collected on one page - kudos!!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are tight in both formal criteria and rules-language departments - I have no complaints here. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly two-column b/w-standard and the pdf features b/w-artworks for EVERY SINGLE NPC herein. Unless I am sorely mistaken, I have seen none of these before as well; for the more than fair price point, that is quite a feat and yes, even the fluff-only NPCs/non-combatants have their mugshots. Kudos! The cartography in b/w is nice and does its job well and EDIT: now, the maps are collected on a player-friendly handout page: Print out one page, cutit up, there you go. Two thumbs up!

Kelly & Ken Pawlik's trio of taverns is a supplement well-worth getting; for a more than fair price, you get some nice builds, NPCs and places to drop in your campaign. While the absence of prices for the food and beverages is a minor detriment in my book, the places indeed capture the imagination, with the first two outclassing the third in my book; after the quirky and creative first two taverns, the third did feel a bit more common in direct comparison. That being said, this is still a great little supplement. Considering the slightly improved layout, new art, minor fixes and collated maps in player-friendly versions, my final verdict is upgraded to 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.


Fantastic value from a new company!

5/5

*Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this product in order to evaluate the designer as a prospective future freelancer. I didn't pay for the product, and the publisher didn't expect me to publish a review when she gave it to me.*

I rarely do reviews. First, I have precious little time marketing my own writing group and completing the assignments we have. Second, I believe the best way to increase the quality of third-party publisher products is to be honest about what I see and work with clever designers to benefit multiple publishers, and of course roleplayers at large. So when I say nice things about a product and give it three stars, I generally feel I've done my part by being honest. Sometimes publishers don't like honesty though, they want to sell products. I can't blame them or judge them, so I just generally don't do reviews unless something is fantastic or seems to get a lot of undeserved hype.

So here we are, reviewing. I asked for a designer's sample work in the even I might hire her for a freelance project I'm developing. We had no conversation about reviewing it, but I have to recommend this product. Check it out:

Trio of Taverns from Dire RUgrat Publishing is an interesting piece of supplemental design. It maps and describes three establishments (the Angelic Imp is my favorite) where player characters can eat, rest, or meet for business. We get maps of each location, which already helps prepare the GM and distinguish the locations from one another. We get the establishment employees and notable figures, some of them are even statted out should things get rough. That kind of preparation saves the GM work and also helps fuel spontaneous games—if you ever need a meeting or other tavern scene, having them fleshed out for you means they're handy with no preparation.

What are taverns without rumors? Designer Kelly Pawlik provides mixed truths with upcoming events so your players can further immerse themselves in roleplay, or so you can throw short adventure elements at the them further tie them to the locals. I want to be clear: this $2 product offers you three very different taverns so you can rest and meet. But it also offers maps, stat blocks, rumors and encounters that fit into the staff's stories. I recommend products primarily on content and value, and Trio of Taverns is about the most impressive thing I've seen at this sort of price point. Even better, the company stays caught up with the rules, providing a small product with a Pathfinder class as recent as a mesmerist included. Finally, if I knew about this product but dind't have it, I'd buy it as a player and make one of these taversn my party's home base. Maybe I buy Blackberry Bill's to get a measure of contorl of the environment, but let Bill stay on as managing partner to steer riff-raf away from the adventurers.

If there's a knock on Trio of Taverns, it isn't the smooth prose or the value and convenience the product offers. It's the art and layout. There's no question Dire Rugrat is a brand new operation, looking to sell a few copies of a few products until they can upgrade at artist and layout and start offering us color. That featureless field on the front cover needs attention and the layout should be higher quality over time. But it's clear that with a few sales and a little experience, Kelly Pawlik and Dire Rugrat Publishing will earn the chance to do more for Pathfinder players (and roleplayers in general).

Up to date design, great value, and a handy product to have for both planned and spontaneous campaigns demonstrates a lot of value for all of your Pathfinder games to come. That combined with the tiny price of $2.25 for a 21-page product makes this an easy 5-star purchase with tons of repeat utility. I would say, your next $2.25 should be spent picking up this .pdf so the games you run forever after have complete, detailed establishments for your parties to do business in.


5/5

Okay, sorry to put my final opinions at the top but I already love this series. I already know that I'm going to use it and what I'm using it for.

What this is, is a profile of three taverns for your PCs to interact with. Each tavern gets a description of the tavern itself to set the mood and a description of the food. There's also a simple map to give the place a bit of shape. There are two tables for each tavern, a rumor and an event table. The rumors and events have a lot of openings for whatever campaign you throw this in and actually interesting enough to partially write for a campaign as you will definitely feel compelled to work with the rumors and events as they feel organic for the tavern. But for the most part they are mundane and related to the tavern more than any other kind of flavor. There are also descriptions on the owners or workers or even patrons of the tavern. Vivid ones that PCs are bound to interact with and they all interact with the rumor or event table in some way.

About my only criticism is that two of the stat blocks were saved for the end of the book making things a bit awkward. And for the characters that don't have stat blocks it would be nice to get a page reference number to a Gamemastery Guide or NPC Codex stat block. The formatting isn't terribly fancy but its all clear and neatly divided.

Aside from the last entry I am impressed that food gets such an interesting writeup. I cant remember how many times that question was asked and I awkwardly made something up.

But above anything else is just having a nice tavern that players can actually interact with. Usually PCs just stop at an inn, lose some money and get their spells back. Plenty of times I've awkwardly tried to make things more interesting by improvising but there can be a lot of inns and taverns in a campaign so its taxing to make one that your players are willing to blow time on. This makes my job as a GM easier, it gives me NPCs I don't have to make up and can hook up to any kind of campaign. All of those are those are huge boons for me so I'm giving this five stars out of five. Its a lot of work saved for a subject that I don't see anyone really tackling frequently enough.

You can find this review and more at my 3pp Pathfinder blog.


A Good Product With Some Room For Improvement

4/5

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product for the purpose of this review. I have not been paid or otherwise compensated for writing this, and have no financial stake in the success of this product.

OVERVIEW

Tangible Taverns: Trio of Taverns is a 24-page PDF (counting the front and back covers), and to my knowledge only available in this format. At the time of this review, it was priced at $2.25 (not bad for a decent-length PDF), and as the name suggests, this product focuses on three different taverns.

Now, obviously, this is a GM-focused product, so you might be asking "why do I need a tavern in the first place?". That's a fair question - and going by the description of the product, this is a product designed to make stops at taverns interesting for the players. Rather than just saying "you stop for a drink and move on", you can actually use the taverns as a chance to legitimately relax, have people roleplay... maybe even distract the players while you work on what's coming up next.

Basically, this product isn't an absolute must for every GM - but it's not hard to imagine it being useful, and that makes it worth taking a look at. Let's see how good it is at accomplishing this goal.

THE ANGELIC IMP

This is the first tavern. The visual aspects of the tavern are introduced on the left-side column, while further details - food, rumors, and events - are on the right. This is an area where I think future products could be improved a bit - the introduction of the tavern is clearly meant to be read aloud, but some of the other material isn't. If you're in a hurry, you might read something aloud you weren't intending to. A little bit of a formatting change to improve the separation between "read to players" and "just you, GM" would be good here.

The description itself is quite nice, though, going into enough detail to help players get a good sense of what the tavern is like. Basically, this tavern is an upscale location, the kind people go for romantic dinners or respectable business meetings, and everything inside was designed accordingly.

The next page contains two tables - rumors and events, both involving dice rolls for randomness. Both are mainly used for jump-starting sidequests - the rumors explain what's going on, while the events leave it up to you and require either decent improvisation skills or writing out the adventures yourself.

Finally, there are two pages of NPCs - mostly description, though statblocks are provided for several of them.

The other two taverns follow in this fashion - introduction, rumors and events, and finally the people inside. Blackberry Bill's - the second tavern - is a simple stone building that works quite well for anywhere your characters might visit on the road (assuming you're not, y'know, in the middle of the desert or something), while the Pattering Platypus seems like it would work best as an inner-city location (or at least be on a trade route with lots of supplies).

---

FORMATTING

As mentioned above, I think the main thing to fix with formatting is the separation between GM material and what players should be told. Another proofreading run wouldn't hurt, either - the Rumors section for the Pattering Platypus tells us "Taverns are both an excellent source of rumors.", and I'd like to know what else they're a good source of. Besides drunk NPCs, that is.

---

FINAL THOUGHTS

Despite my concerns with the formatting, Trio of Taverns is a fairly solid product for the price, and I think it does do what it set out to - provide you with some pre-generated buildings, complete with maps, that you can let your players have some fun with. The rumors and events are the true focus of the product - ways of livening up an otherwise forgettable evening the characters would be having - and with more than 30 of those spread across the taverns, you'll have enough sidequest ideas for quite some time. If you enjoy running your games this way, Trio of Taverns is worth considering.

Overall, I rate it about 4/5 - it's a good product with room for improvement.


Three's Company

5/5

For disclosure, I received this product for free for purposes of review.

This product is amazing, and it wouldn't do to review it without addressing it's component parts, to here we go.

Angelic Imp-
I am glad to see the Angelic Imp as being a fancier bar than the other two I have reviewed. It rounds out the other taverns so far, and provides a nice wide range of taverns from which to select for your campaign's needs. The random events are excellently thought out and interesting, serving as great adventure seeds or even small role playing encounters that could make a session memorable. I am especially impressed by the social nature of these events, as most are not solvable through combat (or so one would hope). The short and sweet nature of the
tavern presentation is especially nice, given the succinct nature of the tavern itself.

Blackberry Bill's-
This tavern seems to be the quintessential "former adventurer" tavern, and a welcome addition to the bevy of taverns we have seen so far. It is likewise excellently described, and does a great job at conveying the nature of the inn, it's inhabitants, and the very mood of the establishment. The events are more adventurous, naturally, and are excellent threads to get the players involved in the town politic, if you so wish, or at least just fun diversions to improve the immersion into the story. The rumors table here is a lot of fun, and one of the rumors could even lead to a tavern feud, and invoking two of the taverns would be a lot of fun, as one might start to see interaction between the dramatis personae of the respective taverns.

Blackberry Bill in particular is an interesting character, and one that could be the centerpiece to a whole slew of campaigns. His penchant for pie making and shady adventuring past make him incredibly useful for any number of adventure seeds and role playing opportunities, especially in a campaign set primarily in the confines of a city (these taverns are a must for such campaigns).

I have to take a moment to say that the author's show a great knowledge and enthusiasm for the Pathfinder system, crafting excellent NPCs that use a wide range of Pathfinder material, keeping their product relevant and useful.

The Pattering Platypus-
This is probably the most humorously amusing tavern of the three, and very food-centric. I like the twist quite a bit, and has even inspired me to inject some food-war adventures into my campaign, where the players either quest for rare ingredients or embroil themselves into food preparation (our group loves cooking shows). This and Blackberry Bill's seem to be a perfect pair for each other in that respect, and a town of food obsessed chefs might be a great set piece.

Of all the taverns, the dramatis personae here is the most vibrant (which is no mean feat). And that is to say, it is varied, and less focused, but that seems to really suit the Platypus, and make it more of appealing to wider ranges of groups as a place to go and visit with frequency, even if it is to vie for information, fence goods, recruit companions, or even mentor burgeoning adventuring groups. This tavern underscores the manner in which all the taverns feel very vibrant and alive.

Overall-
Excellently written, good prose, a good eye for evocative description. I like the description of the food especially; though not especially descriptive, it serves as a good guideline that foody gamers might latch on to, as I have.

The NPC's are exceptionally crafted, both in bare statistics and as colorful personalities. The potential interplay here is enormous, and really is the kind of "casting" of NPC's that many Gm's should aspire to (depending on your play style, of course). I was pleased with the art as well, as it complemented my expectations of what each NPC looked like.

I give this product a 5 out of 5, and the king's approval.


Community & Digital Content Director

Now available!


Chris wrote:
Now available!

Thanks, Chris!

We're excited to have three taverns in the latest edition of the Tangible Taverns line. None of them are quite as big as the taverns in our two previous editions (The Bull & The Bear and Tuffy's Good Time Palace), but all of them have lots to offer and each one still includes NPCs with original art, stat blocks, a tavern map and rumour and event tables. There is also a whole section called "More Faces at the Tavern" with lots of colourful and interesting NPCs bound to aid, challenge or interest your players.

If you are thinking of checking out one of our taverns, try this one. With three different taverns there is bound to be something you can drop into your current campaign.

Sovereign Court

Review posted.

One Book Shelf review pending. I wish I had better access to that site during the day time.


Thanks for posting your review! We are delighted you loved it so much and appreciate you taking the time to write such a detailed review. Blackberry Bill is our favorite, so I'm glad he's such a high point for you as well.

Also, thanks for mentioning the art too. That's something no-one has commented on to-date and Ken was thinking of drawing stick figures next time. I think he was joking, but thanks for saving us from finding out!

Sovereign Court

There were some sketchy (in style, not quality) art that I liked, reminiscent of the "Take on me" video from Aha! that I got a kick out of. I rather like that artist, if you happen to get more work out of them.

But overall I did enjoy the art. It's only getting better.


The artist is Ken, co-maker of all the Tangible Taverns! We're hoping he'll manage to do all the portraits in the taverns going forward. I just keep writing and doing layouts faster than he can draw. Plus drawing seems to take longer than writing does.
Your compliments on his art have been noted and he's feeling re-inspired. Thank you!


Thanks to Rednal for his review! We will endeavor to take your comments into account for future taverns!


Thanks for the reviews Lorathorn and Rednal! And thanks for noting the art Lorathorn! The two "Take on Me"ish pieces are the only ones I didn't do in the book, but I do quite like them. My personal favourites are Arven the Ranger and Dizzy Izzy with his hypno-eyes.


Thanks to Malwing for the recent review! If you haven't seen it yet, you should check it out now.


Steven T. Helt (RPG Superstar 2013) posted a review of Trio of Taverns. A big thanks to him for his feedback! Check it out on the review tab and then pick up your copy today.


Whew! After a long delay, we are back and our latest tavern has been released. Simon's Dinner Theatre is now live on Paizo. If you loved Trio of Taverns, check out our newest "tavern": a delightful dinner theatre with fantastic food, colourful NPCs and great entertainment.

And if you still haven't picked up Trio of Taverns, what are you waiting for?


Don't have time to expand the rumours and events contained in this tavern? Good news! We've started a mini adventure line of two page adventures that accompany our taverns, but can be slotted into just about any campaign.

This first in the series is A Thief in the Night.

Several cases of delicious blackberry preserves have gone missing from Blackberry Bill’s. Braybin, the freckle-faced server, asks the PCs to help to discover who is responsible and to get the jam back before Blackberry Bill notices – and reminds the townsfolk why he was formerly known as Butcher Bill.

Currently available on DriveThruRPG, and available soon on Paizo, this mini adventure is suitable for four characters of level 3-4.


And here it is on Paizo!
Happy adventuring, folks!


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to NErdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS, etc.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Upgraded review to reflect the improvements made in all the usual places.

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