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The Random GM: Need a rowdy tavern? Roll one up in minutes!

The Random GM: Need a rowdy tavern? Roll one up in minutes!

Sooner or later, your players will ignore your narrative breadcrumbs in favor of aiding a random NPC. This is good and right. But it helps to be prepared when it happens!

One Roll Wonders are a way to throw together RPG locations and points of interest in the time it takes for a bathroom break!

Grab one of each of the polyhedral dice: d4, d6, d8, d1, d12, and d20. Roll them all at once and consult the tables.

The results provide a ready-made bit of adventure. You might need to massage the outcome to create something coherent, or you might find a result that appeals to you more than what you rolled. Whatever gets the game moving is the right call!

Want more help keeping things running? The Prepared! Expanded Collection is an group of pre-generated one-shot adventures that helps you look like an improv master.

The Rowdy Tavern

d4What is this tavern known for?
1Music, dancing, and storytelling
2Where firebrands discuss philosophy and revolutionary ideas
3A friendly place where all the locals know each other’s name
4Donnybrooks and fracases, rumbles and rhubarbs
d6What kind of people frequent this tavern?
1The dregs of society
2The working class
3Merchants and bureaucrats
4A mix of lineages, heritages, and socioeconomic groups for the area
5The educated intelligentsia
6The upper crust and nobility
d8Where do you find this rowdy tavern?
1Down by the docks
2Surrounded by decrepit buildings
3On the outskirts of town
4The wrong side of the thoroughfare
5In the city center
6At the edge of the marketplace
7Just outside an affluent neighborhood
8Near the local constabulary
d10What’s everyone drinking tonight?
1What vengeful transmuter learned to ferment urine?
2Watered down ale by the copper
3A dry lager with foamy head
4A crisp cider made with locally sourced apples
5A sweet mead served by a bee stung bartender
6A shot of whiskey dropped into a flagon of stout beer
7A dry red wine of dubious vintage
8A fruity brandy that burns on its way down
9A fizzy white wine served in glass flutes
10An almond liqueur mixed with coffee and cream
d12What friendly faces are in the tavern?
1A long lost relative, flush with coin
2An elf who sits at the back of the room and watches intently
3A thief who owes you a favor
4A mage so down on their luck that they prestidigitate drinks for copper pieces
5A wizened bard who tells stories for anyone who buys them a meal
6A bartender who plays a game of guessing your order
7A dwarf with many strong opinions and will buy the drinks as long as you listen
8A weaponsmith who wants to show you just how sharp their blades are
9The musician who claims to have written your favorite ballad
10A scholar with access to a forbidden library
11A merchant who can’t leave the tavern without your help
12A noble who knows a lot of people
d20What foes are in the rowdy tavern?
1Three kobolds in a trenchcoat
2The relative of a deceased compatriot, who hasn’t learned of the death
3An alehouse drake (see Tome of Beasts 1) that got into some spicy liquor that affects its breath
4An outsider with an oversized weapon . . . everyone’s too afraid to ask them to leave it outside
5A woodworker who needs to drum up business for their woodshop
6A rapscallion whose pockets are filled with the coin purses of others
7The illegitimate child of a monarch who can’t stand talk of revolution
8A bounty hunter who won’t let anything get in the way of their quarry
9Animated armor with a patron stuck inside
10A vampire spawn trying to lure patrons to the vampire that controls them
11A well-behaved werewolf, so long as the moon isn’t full
12An herbalist who tries to taint drinks with drops from a potion of fire breath
13A wild-eyed cultist who wants to see the city burn, starting here
14The monarch’s heir apparent with their owlbear bodyguard
15An entertainer who is scorned that the establishment won’t let them perform
16The ghost of a past proprietor who chases out patrons at last call
17A bare-knuckle brawler who just hates it when someone bumps into them
18A fey lord or lady slumming it with the mortals
19A noble looking to field test their new bodyguards
20A bartender who thinks you skipped out on your tab on your last visit

About Benjamin Eastman

Benjamin L. Eastman was introduced to D&D by his four closest friends—who immediately betrayed his trust by sacrificing his first character to a demonic artifact. Undeterred, he’s played all manner of RPGs in the intervening years. In addition to writing Warlock Lairs and monsters for Kobold Press, he’s contributed to the Stargate RPG and Americana, and co-authored DMs Guild adventures including Baby Tarrasque. He is perhaps proudest of the bar brawl—his first published monster in the Creature Codex

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