10 Things to See in a High Class Tavern

Wandering adventurers often spend a lot of time in low-class dives, travellers’ taverns and other seedy establishments such as dockside taverns, thieves’ dens and so on. However, sometimes—normally accidentally—they stumble into a decent establishment…

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)


But what do they see in such a place? Use the table below, to determine what the PCs see in a high class tavern:

  1. Four finely dressed gentlemen—wearing silks and wide-brimmed hats—sit at a table enjoying a decanter of wine. Each is armed with a rapier. They are overly loud, gregarious and—as the evening wears on—increasingly drunk and leery.
  2. Two men wearing faded, but once fine uniforms sit at a table. An attractive woman sits with each man. The women seem to be working very hard to make the men relax; something at which they are only partly successful.
  3. A woman clad in particularly fine, but severely cut, robes sits alone at a table. Occasionally, she sips from a fine wine glass as she stares into space. Her demeanour is of one completely alone. A young maid stands by one elbow bottle wine ready to replenish her mistress’ glass.
  4. A drunk man—clearly worse for wear and more than a little boisterous—attempts to gain entry to the tavern. To shouts of, “Do you know who I am, idiot?” the door staff eject the fellow into the street.
  5. As a serving wench threads her way through the room, a young man sticks his foot out. The girl falls dropping her tray of glasses to the floor, where most of them shatter. The man’s friends laugh loudly at the girl’s misfortune. In turn, she begins to cry as she begins to gather up the broken glasses. If she is asked, she tells the PCs the owner will charge her for breakages—something she just cannot afford.
  6. A nobleman calls loudly for service and several servers dash to do his bidding—ignoring their other customers (the PCs included). The man is known to tip well, but only for exceptional service and his preferential treatment clearly annoys those around him.
  7. A hooded man sits alone at a table near the fire. He gazes into the flames, seemingly unaware of those around him. The man’s cloak is of crimson velvet and esoteric sigils picked out with golden thread decorate the cloak’s hem. Other patrons maintain a deferential distance from the man; only one serving wench dares approach him.
  8. An older lady wearing an outlandish headdress of towering design lords it over several similarly dressed women. Their conversation is punctuated with polite laughter; some of which may be directed at the party and their less than ostentatious appearance.
  9. One table—set upon a slightly raised roped off plinth—is fully laid up ready for a feast of seemingly epic proportions. A vast array of cutlery, glasses and table decorations festoon the table. However, no diners are yet in evidence.
  10. The mutter of polite, stilted conversation fills the taproom. Comfortable, high-backed chairs fill much of the space and are arrayed so it is hard for folk at one table to overhear those at another.

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This article will appear in GM’s Miscellany: 20 Things II, available in March 2017. For more, check out our Free Resources page.

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