20 Fair & Festival Events

Fairs and festivals are full of sights, sounds and excitement. Beyond the main attraction, dozens of minor events befall festival-goers. 


Use the table below, to add depth and flavour to the PCs’ visit to the fair:

  1. An amorous couple—paying no attention to anyone but themselves—blunder into the party. The pair are innocent of any sinister intent, but suspicious PCs may suspect a pickpocketing attempt.
  2. Laughing child rush through the crowds playing a wild game of tag. One child—desperate to not get caught—hurls herself through the legs of one of the party. An unwary or distracted PC may be knocked to the ground by the sudden impact of a hurtling child. 
  3. Shouts and laughter, coming from a nearby attraction or stall, drift over the crowd. Whatever is going on over there, people are having a good time and more drift over to investigate the commotion.  
  4. Shouts of, “Thief!” and, “Pickpocket” sound from close by as a richly-clad merchant points an accusative finger at a small boy cowering against a stall or wall. This could be a case of mistaken identity, or the boy could be a thief. In any event, the angry merchant seems intent on thrashing the boy.   
  5. A juggler moves through the crowd plying his trade—keeping five whirling cudgels in the air. A drunk festival-goer decides it would be hilarious to throw something at the juggler—an apple core, empty wine jack or something similar. Unsurprisingly, this distracts the juggler who drops his cudgels. A loud argument ensues.
  6. Doing a roaring trade, a man (Ahti Hopea [LN male human]) moves through the crowd selling hot meat pies from his small handcart. Spotting the PCs—and gambling they have coin to spare—he makes a beeline for the party. His tasty meat pies cost 5 cp each.
  7. A stray dog trots through the crowd on the hunt for dropped food. It spies the remains of a dropped pie, and darts forward to wolf it down. Alternatively, if the PCs are eating the dog might follow them around begging for scraps. 
  8. Three children walk through the crowd laughing and talking. Two are clearly trying to impress the third, and their boasts and jests become ever more outlandish.
  9. A well-to-do family wander among the various attractions, enjoying the day. The four children dart about laughing and joking with one another. Occasionally, one or another of the children demands a coin from their parents for a treat or visit to a stall. Laughing, their parents dispense the coins seemingly without a care in the world. Perceptive PCs notice a trio of thugs trailing the family. 
  10. A tall, smiling man (Eerik Ihamuoto [LN male human]) wanders the crowd shout loading in a deep, booming voice of the bargains to be had at Lauri’s Cornucopia of Wonder (see 8 Stalls & Attractions overleaf). He is happy to direct people to his employer’s stall.
  11. A troubadour (Ari Kultimo [NG male human]) wanders the crowd strumming his lute and singing a happy, merry song. The man has a good, strong voice. 
  12. Two drunks clutching jacks of ale, which they quaff from between bouts of intelligible singing, stagger through the crowd singing and laughing at each other. Both are much the worse for wear and stink of booze. If they don’t notice the party, they might stagger into the PCs. 
  13. A young child (Kerttu Kalpio [young female human]) stands alone amid the crowds, crying. She has lost her parents and is getting scared. If a PC hoists her onto shoulders, one of her parents quickly spots her. They both rush over to reclaim their daughter and thank the PCs profusely for their aid.
  14. A noblewoman—or perhaps the wife of a wealthy merchant—glides through the crowd trailed by two servants carrying a variety of boxes and bundles. A grizzled, stout bodyguard walks beside the noblewoman—his eyes constantly roving the crowd in search of threats. She has no time for social inferiors.
  15. A ragged child (Jegor Nousia [CN male human thief 1]) approaches the PCs and tries to talk them out of a few coins. He explains, he wants to have a good time with his friends, but his parents are too poor to spare any coin. He thickly lays on the emotional blackmail and is a persistent fellow. If it becomes obvious he is wasting his time, he loudly swears at the PCs, wishes them bad luck and darts away into the crowd.
  16. A balding, stocky man (Kössi Ora [N middle-aged male human]) pushes a handcart through the throng from which he sells jacks of red wine for 1 sp. The wine is thin and vinegary, but he knows much of what is going on—he could be a useful source of information for the PCs. Kössi is a good way of introducing interesting rumours to the party.
  17. Niilo Paaso (NE male human thief 2) wanders through the crowd wearing a ludicrously stereotyped wizard’s outfit complete with many stuffed pouches and a pointy hat. He has impressive sleight of hand skills which he uses to amaze children. While he does so, his accomplices Aili Ehtaro (NE female human thief 2) and Miro Slycaller (CN male halfling thief 3) pick the pockets of distracted onlookers.
  18. Birds soar overhead; occasionally one or more swoops to the ground to gobble up some dropping morsel of food. If the birds get aggressive, they try to steal food from children’s hands. Most of the birds are normal creatures, but a wizard’s familiar could lurk in the flock for some unspecified purpose. 
  19. A sudden burst of rain sends festival-goers dashing for cover under trees and in tents. The downpour only lasts 20 minutes, and some of the undercover attractions do a roaring trade in the meanwhile. 
  20. Two old people—a husband and wife—totter through the crowd; a three small dogs—little more than puppies—dart about their legs, playing happily, and investigating everything. 

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This article appears in 20 Things #36: Fairs & Festivals. Members of our Patreon campaign got 20 Things #36: Fairs & Festivals completely free as a thank you for their awesome support. Join today!

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