Sunday 5 December 2010

Hooks and the City - part 4

Street entertainers (1d12)

1. Fortune teller
2. Juggler
3. Dancing animal and handler
4. Illusionist doing weird colours in the air
5. Tumblers
6. Fire eater
7. Singer, sole
8. Singers, choir of, female, very harmonious
9. Singers, choir of, male, deep baritone
10. Conjurer, doing tricks with cards, balls, pigeons etc
11. Knife thrower and assistant
12. Mystery play

Street traders – 1d20

1. Clothing – second hand. May have some degree of infestation
2. Clothing new – might have been stolen.
3. Boots and shoes
4. Jewellery – cheap
5. Jewellery – mid-range
6. Artwork – good quality engravings and prints
7. wines and spirits
8. perfumes and cosmetics
9. books – various subjects
10. Charms and religious items – a slim chance that there is a +1 amulet of protection in there somewhere
11. Fruit and vegetables
12. Bread and cakes
13. Folk medicines – as with the fortune teller, the buyer takes a chance.
14. Livestock – chickens, caged birds, mice, rats, cats, dogs. Cattle and sheep would be found at market
15. Meat, cooked – sausages, ham, etc.
16. Herbs and spices – if in a rich area of the city, they will be the genuine article, if in a poor area, they will be an admixture of some genuine and mostly dried and chopped leaves
17. Fortune teller – may be bogus or genuine.
18. Pies
19. Drink – alcoholic
20. Drink - non-alcoholic

If food, then check the following quality table (-1 from die roll if in respectable neighbourhood, -2 if in very well-to-do neighbourhood)

1. Excellent quality
2. Very tasty – might like another one of those
3. Good, you’ve had better
4. Fair – worth the price you paid
5. Passable – you feel as if you’ve been cheated
6. Chewy – that won’t stay down long
7. They must have scraped the mould off that one
8. Has probably passed through more than one digestive system


The party will encounter one of the following trades

1. Apothecaries
2. Armourers & Brasiers (armour-makers and workers in brass)
3. Bakers
4. Barbers (also surgeons and dentists)
5. Basketmakers
6. Blacksmiths
7. Bowyers (longbow makers)
8. Brewers
9. Broderers (embroiderers)
10. Butchers
11. Carpenters
12. Chandlers (candle makers)
13. Clothworkers
14. Cordwainers (workers in fine leather)
15. Curriers (dressers of tanned leather)
16. Cutlers
17. Dyers
18. Farriers (shoers of horses)
19. Fishmongers
20. Fletchers (arrow makers)
21. Girdlers (girdles and belts as clothing)
22. Goldsmiths
23. Loriners (stirrups and other harness for horses)
24. Masons
25. Mercers (general merchants)
26. Needlemakers
27. Pattenmakers (makers of wooden clog-style footwear)
28. Plaisterers (plasterers)
29. Plumbers
30. Poulters
31. Saddlers
32. Salters
33. Scriveners (writers of court letters and legal documents)
34. Skinners
35. Tallow chandlers (Candle makers)
36. Upholders (upholsterers)
37. Vintners
38. Wax Chandlers ( candle makers)
39. Weavers
40. Wheelwrights
41. Woolmen (winders and packers of wool)

The tradesman will be either Master (25%) , Apprentice (55%) or both (20%). They may be

on their way to a business meeting, either with buyers or suppliers,
at their business premises,
going to their premises
coming from their premises

It may also be that if an apprentice or apprentices are encountered, they may be fighting with apprentices of another trade. There is often great rivalry between the trades and these fights sometimes end in death. The city authorities, keen to keep trade where it belongs – i.e. in the city – will not wish to be too zealous in prosecuting those who are responsible for such deaths.

Wererat – beneath the city, in the sewers and catacombs that honeycomb the earth, there is a war going on between the wererats and a band of weretigers or werecats who are hunting them. This battle has consequences above ground too, as the weretigers have been hired to sort the rats out by a group of city dignitaries and the rats have the backing of the thieves’ guild who use their services for travelling through the sewers and spying etc.

Weretiger – a female weretiger has been captured in tiger form and the collar she’s been fitted with is trapping her in this form. She cannot change back. Her mate is in the city to try and find and free her but she is in the process of being sold to a rich noble’s menagerie and if he doesn’t find her soon, her mind will be completely animal by the time she transforms again.

Werewolf – he has entered the city to try and find a sanctuary where he can get cured of his curse but temples are turning him away and he is feeling very tempted by some of the more evil attractions that the city has to offer.

Werewolf 2 – lycanthropes are a powerful clique within the city (valued for their virility and strength), and it is a great honour to be selected to join them. Their needs are catered for and they have their own quarters and privileges, bestowed by the authorities in return for service in defence of the city. The party may see someone being dragged away by two furry looking types and weigh in to rescue them, unaware that the victim is a volunteer and the werewolves are town dignitaries.

Wight – the wight is in fact a former dungeon-delver who was cheated, robbed and left for dead by his comrades and when he recovered, he was trapped inside a tomb complex under the city. He eventually starved to death and now the former party comrades are now being stalked by a creature of the night and are being picked off one by one.

Will O the Wisp – in the slum area of the city, the waste produced by the population is dumped in a huge tip. Scavengers and tip dwellers pick over the refuse in order to find something valuable that might have been overlooked. In areas, the ground has become boggy and treacherous and some denizens of the waste tip have come to an agreement with a will o the wisp that it lures wanderers to their death and feeds on the life force and the tip dwellers then plunder the body.

Wraith – this undead spirit is bound to a particular object by a curse (painting, sculputre, etc) and whoever owns it falls victim to it. The wraith needs a specific number of souls to free itself and is only 1d12 short of that number. The object has a particular occult cachet and is highly sought after by those who have a penchant for such things.

Vampire – a group of vampires lurk in a crypt beneath an ancient building, to which they have been driven by the actions of clerics and paladins over the years. Now, the city wants to knock down the building and redevelop. The vampires want to either stop this or, if such is not possible, relocate somewhere that they are not likely to be disturbed again. The party can take either side of this particular battle. As an added complication, it may be that one of the vampires is sufficiently old that they have knowledge of a system of traps in a dungeon below the city and someone wants to use that knowledge. But how do you torture a vampire?

Lich – some of the would-be lich’s followers are trying to find ingredients for the spell that will cause him to become a lich and are busy preparing the lair where he can live on in peace. Robberies at various apothecaries and magic shops are starting to attract attention but those sent to investigate have vanished without trace (they’ve probably been turned into mummified guardians to serve the lich)

Odd things that happen in taverns (1d12)

1. A wandering minstrel doing a gig in the tavern starts to sing a song and slowly, everyone at every table joins in – except the party, who don’t know it.
2. A man at a nearby table has what appears to be a tiny glowing creature with wings in a golden cage. He can make it do tricks, to the great amusement of all who watch – except one member of the party who can hear a voice inside his head begging him to help the creature.
3. One table in the tavern is always empty and newcomers are told not to sit there. It is the table where a much-liked party of adventurers sat regularly before they vanished one day, never to be seen again. Then one day, the party in question does come back – but as horribly decayed walking corpses, still bearing the marks of whatever killed them. And all the regulars except the party are delighted to welcome them back, seeing them as they were when they left. Why?
4. Above the fireplace of the tavern is a large mirror. Whichever of the party passes it first will notice that it reflects everyone else in the tavern – except them.
5. A young child wanders into the tavern with a box of trinkets, moving from table to table, asking if anyone wants to buy. As she arrives at one table, one of the occupants undergoes some sort of apoplectic fit, staring at the child in horror, screaming for her to keep away and then falling to the floor, frothing at the mouth and soiling himself. He then begins to rant in an unknown language before being dragged out by his friends. The child is visibly upset but then comes over to the party’s table.
6. A card reader is doing the rounds and asks the members of the party if they’d like a reading. Her cards begin to make rather accurate revelations about the party’s activities.
7. During the evening, when the tavern is packed, a group of strolling singers come in and begin a set that includes some old folk songs, a love ballad and a rousing, if bawdy piece. One of the young women will wander round the bar singing and sitting on the laps of one member of each table. At the end of the set, the singers pack up to leave, at which point the young woman will make a beckoning sign and all those who she selected for her attentions will rise and, zombie-like, follow her out of the tavern
8. As the party walk into the tavern, the landlord’s cat, which is sitting in the bar, arches its back and hisses at them with a mixture of fear and hatred.
9. Each time the party ask for drinks and food, the waitress or landlord brings one more helping or tankard than there are members in the party. When asked, she or he gets confused and can’t understand why they did that.
10. While the party are drinking, two members of the city guard come into the tavern and proceed to nail up a wanted poster that is for a member of the party.
11. One evening, while on their way to their regular tavern, the party is bothered by a mad old gypsy woman who begs them to take a cheap and tawdry amulet. She tells them that it will protect them from what is coming. Whether they take it or not, when they get to the tavern, they will find that the innkeeper greets them by different names, serves them different drinks, seats them at a different table. To each other, they still look the same but a glance into any mirror shows that they now have different faces, possibly different races and different genders. If they took the amulet, did it do this or has it protected them from being completely transformed? And if they didn’t take it, would it have prevented this from happening?
12. While playing an innocent game of cards or dice, one of the party gets a lucky streak going that will soon result in accusations of cheating.


  1. There's so much fun to be had in taverns beyond drinking, eating and wenching. Nice one!

  2. All much fun, liking the tavern strangeness.

    Are you going to compile this lot into a PDF of hooks? Enquiring minds etc.

  3. @Dungeonmum - would you have expected anything less than seriously weird from me?

    @Satyre - when I can save up for Adobe, you'll be seeing much in the way of pdfs from me and my associates.