Friday, 21 August 2009

inns and taverns: the wayside

A roadside tavern just inside the edge of The Great Forest, a solidly-built three storey circular tower of oaken beams 40' across using a pair of trees for structural support with a first floor balcony that views the road which is often guarded by someone with a signalling horn and a longbow. It is surrounded by a low wooden fence and gate that can be vaulted by the athletic and climbed by the drunk. A lean-to adjacent to the building and in the shade of one of the trees provides rough-and-ready stabling and pasture for five horses. It is possible to climb onto the inn from the trees and get into a top floor room from there.

Entering from the east, the first two storeys form a massive common room and tavern around a central slate hearth where chicken and suckling pig roast on spits and a sizable cauldron bubbles with stew. Long tables and benches are arranged like wheel spokes from the hearth On the west side of the room is a bar where eight wenches and two barmen pour from kegs behind them and a slate hangs with prices. There are staircases to the north and south leading up to balconies on the first floor where people gather and the staircases lead higher. Under the balconies are discreet alcoves for business but getting served can be a problem for those sat there.

The top floor is a collection of rough-and-ready rooms frequented by secretive patrons willing to pay a bit extra and a pair of local working girls popular with the local foresters. The ale is rough but strong, wine is sold from the keg. The food is plentiful and good quality though sleeping on straw is the only option for guests - requests for baths are laughed at. Ale is brewed and food is prepared for cooking in the cellars where staff have slightly better accommodation than the guests. The Wayside is usually busy with foresters, tinkers and itinerant travellers and turns a tidy profit as the door lintel is marked as under protection of a local scout and ranger fellowship.


  1. Nice writeup (along with the Rose Tower). It seems a common suggestion from WoTC is to have the group set up a base of operations for a few levels. Having a local inn/tavern with a little flavor really stand out in the player's mind. I think something given a little more detail really gets the imagination of the group rolling (and a desire to want to make it 'home' for a few levels). Great stuff here and hope more are in the pipe.

  2. Thanks! This is looking like it's going to be a series... :o)

    The inspiration for these comes from two sources: one is the RuneQuest classic 'Griffin Mountain' which was described as 'a pub crawl with monsters and heroic deeds' and Ed Greenwood's Forgotten Realms, where the ales and food your PC had were lovingly described. As you say, it's always good to have a base and adventurers always gravitate to bars...


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