Oddities for a Tavern

William T. Thrasher

The best adventures begin and end in taverns, but in the hurlyburly world of professional adventuring, there's no reason why a tavern can't become an adventure in itself. And so the mad barmen of d-Infinity bring you a new ever growing, ever evolving list of oddities to breath new and wondrous life into the watering holes where your heroes wet their whistles!

1. A public bulletin board is mounted on the tavern's east wall. Among the crudely printed broad sheets, declarations, and wanted posters are hand-written entreaties seeking the aide and promising thrilling adventure and great reward in return. However, these "heroes wanted" posts are false, tacked to the board by local brigands to lure foolhardy adventurers to isolated locales to be waylaid and robbed.

2. A cleric from a nearby temple wanders through the tavern offering simple blessings and warning against the sin of drunkenness. Every now and then the cleric casts a spell turning the libations in nearby mugs into pure water. It won't be long before a disgruntled patron calls out the cleric or gets into an altercation with the barman accusing him of watering down the ale.

3. A tip jar stands like a weary sentinel at the edge of the bar. Within the tip jar are a random assortment of coins and something odd. Equal chance of a mousetrap meant to discourage thieves, a venomous snake planted by the local thieves guild to send a message to the tavern owner, or a tiny leprechaun digging through the change in search of a magic gold coin stolen from his pot of gold.

4. A floppy-eared old mutt lazes by the fire, close enough to the flames that the heat should be intolerable. The dog is a hound of Hell that escaped the infernal kennel its demonic master and disguised itself as a mangy cur. The hound is fiercely protective of the publican, who gave it scraps thinking it was a pitiable stray.

5. A bard plays sweetly upon a lute strung with fine silver strings. The strings are woven from the hair of an angel, a choirmaster of the the celestial realms. Somewhere on a prime material plane a bald angel seeks the bard.

6. A fire burns happily in the hearth, the flames occasionally rising higher and momentarily changing color to unnatural greens, purples, and blues. The cause of these unnatural colors is either the wood of a sacred elder tree, the wood of trees cut from a section of forest where an unscrupulous alchemist dumps the waste from her failed experiments, or several magical tomes someone threw into the fire.

7. Trophies donated by various local hunters decorate the walls of the tavern. The trophies were all taken from animals that were humanoids polymorphed into the shape of beasts.

8. A gambler tosses a pair of bone dice in the corner, asking anyone who comes near if they'd like to place a bet. The gambler's left hand is missing a finger, the digit from which the dice were carved.

9. The barman went into the cellar 1d6x minutes ago to fetch a fresh cask of ale and hasn't returned. In the cellar is either his corpse, a scorch mark smelling of brimstone, or a secret door connecting the tavern to a network of smuggler's tunnels.

10. A tipsy wizard juggles fireballs to the nervous delight of onlookers. However, the wizard an his fireballs are an illusion created by a real wizard sneaking behind the bar to purloin a bottle of wine just outside his price range.

And that's only the beginning! Check back in the coming days to see how the list grows, and add your own in the comments. How quickly can we get to 100?