Taverns being something of a mainstay in fantasy RPGs we thought we'd stop in for another drink and see what other random encounters we might have...
A well-dressed individual comes over to the parties table. He apologies for the interruption and explains he is Sir Mereford the Second. He is in town to complete a business deal and has run into an issue. He offers to buy a round of drinks for everyone if they will hear him out.
Assuming they do, he sits down and explains that he was due to meet a business partner in town so they could pool finances and put a deposit down on a unique property that has, rather luckily, been offered to them. It’s the main bridge out of town. Normally, this is owned by the authorities but as luck would have it an ancient land title has been unearthed which gives the Mereford family the first refusal on the land and any building built on it, should they ever come up for sale. The only property on the land in question is the main town bridge.
The only snag is, he needs to put down a deposit of 10,000 gp by midnight that night to secure the purchase and his business partner was delayed by a lame horse on the road into town. He has been able to secure 9500gp, and he shows a magic bag which contains a lot of gold coins, but he needs the extra 500gp.
He thought the party looked quite prosperous and wanted to know if they’d be willing to help. He’d repay them triple their 500gp in a week and they would never have to pay tolls on the bridge in the future. Or, he’d grant them 1% of all the tolls collected over the first year – which could be a significant sum of money.
The authorities representative is waiting in a merchants office downtown and if the party would come with him and pay the money he can they can get their receipt and certificates of loaning in person right now.
Well dressed, neatly groomed and earnest Sir Mereford is, of course, a total conman. Yes, he has 100 real gold coins in his bag, but the rest of the bag has grains of sand covered with an illusion to make them look like more coins.
An observant character might notice that his clothes are a little worn around the edges or that he glances around the room a little too often… however, if the players are daft enough to believe this story then we suggest letting them get ripped off!
The city ‘official’ is of course in on the con and the certificates that will be produced are worthless. We would suggest a few paid ‘heavies’ are in the room with the official to make things look legitimate and to provide these two conmen with some support if the party rumble the ruse when they are handing over the money.
A singer steps out onto the performance area of the tavern. They start singing a popular local song and the crowd respond positively. The singer continues with a few more local tunes before switching their singing to an older style which resonates well with the few elves and dwarves in the audience, but the rest of the audience doesn’t like it as much. A skinny, bald-headed muscular human male wearing grubby overalls, sitting close to the party, starts to heckle and boo the singer.
He is sitting with four scruffy looking males who join in his heckling and the singer, falters and stops. The rest of the audience have fallen silent and the man and his cronies are yelling for the singer to get off or ‘sing proper human songs’.
This is one of those rare times when the author specifically hopes that the party get angry and fight the person they are encountering… he’s a local bully and braggart and involved in running a warehouse down by the docks. An unpleasant character with a history of violence. It is fair to mention that whilst he has no real power, he is connected with a low-level street gang who might harass the characters subsequently.
The singer is a travelling entertainer, with some talent but poor and friendless. We leave their sex and species to you to determine.
A blindfolded woman drunkenly staggers over to the party. She stands by the nearest wall steadying herself before addressing each of the party members by name. She explains she is a seer and that the party have walked through her dreams for many months.
She offers to scry their fortune and share what she learns. All she wants is her bar tab paid and a small contribution towards her future visits to the tavern.
Unlike the previous individual, she is the real deal and can foresee upcoming trials and tribulations for each of the party – or just for the party individually if you would find that easier to DM. She is not blind but habitually wears the blindfold as she believes physical blindness helps her see the time stream better.
She is also an alcoholic and her bar tab is significantly high. She often trades visions of the future against her debt (letting the bartender know when rich travellers are visiting the town) but the bartender is pressing for real cash payment this time and she doesn’t have the money.
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