Sometimes things can take on a character of their own. The USS Enterprise, Serenity, the Baxter Building (Marvel reference, and I am not even a big Marvel fan yet I still know that!) are all examples of things that take on more than just being a backdrop. Way back in college, my Scout's ship (an upgraded 200dTon ship with a TL17 AI - yeah, we did the gonzo things, and why did I stop?!) was as much of a character as Nathan Brazil (at the time I was a big Jack Chaulker fan, though in later years I think I found a lot of his stuff actually repetitive. Probably because I read most of what he wrote).
I keep hoping that if I can get back to running a fun game of Traveller, we'll get to play long enough for them to become invested in their ship, their home in the stars. The onus is on me to make those games fun, and I am really hoping to get to run a series of Traveller games.
Same for fantasy games, where the advantage is that I can use the same town for any fantasy game really. Why I got really deep into Windemere Crossing and Fort Covenant. And waiting to see if Organic Towns can help make these towns change and grow.
And what, I hear you asking, sparked this thought? I was reading Delver 6, and there was an article for his Tavern rule book. This little 'zine is for players who decide to buy an inn or tavern and has various ways to produce profit. I realized this was the same thing as Organic Town purports to be, except writ small. And sometimes starting small is a good thing.
And then that brought the thought to mind that I really can treat both my tavern-to-be and towns as characters and have them go through the rules & processes to see what happens. I need to re-read the town & tavern rules, but my plan is to have a post dedicated to that growth on a regular basis. I need to have goals else I just sit here. I did a brief overview of that concept here, and the taverns rules are here. I know I have the PDF, and I need to see if I bought the actual paper copy. I do prefer to get both as I really prefer reading "real" books. Probably because I already spend way too much time in front of a screen (as I type this, in front of a screen). Ahh, and yes, it was with the other copies of Delver magazine. Note that I have a couple of auto-backs: 0-Hr for spaceships, and Delver as it is full of fun random things. That I really hope to use some day!
First, we'll need to add a tavern to Windemere Crossing and Fort Covenant. As a reminder, here's the first post for Windemere Crossing. And in re-reading that, sad that we never got there: the kids I was playing with dropped out of gaming, so we never actually got there. But as I will be running some OSE games in the near future (and quite possibly some Fantasy Trip as well), and I just like world building, we'll just keep on building.
We already have 2 inns in Windemere we can expand on: the Nimble Priest Inn and the Silver Pirate Inn. Looking at the PDF of the Organic Towns book (I really want the physical book to arrive as it is hard to flip around in a PDF for me vs an open book with bookmarks. And I sit behind a computer all day). There are 3 levels for inns - I, II, III. I is basically a bunkhouse, II the more classic inn of most RPGs, and III a much richer guest estate. And taverns follow a similar step: Alehouse is your basic tavern, a tavern adds a private lounge and basement, and then the grand tavern is quite the hoity-toity place. Both give bonuses to the towns they are in.
For this post, as it got a lot longer than I expected while writing it, we'll focus on the Nimble Inn.
The Nimble Priest Inn is a level II inn based on my original description:
The Nimble Priest Inn. A large 2 story building with a basement below the main floor, The Nimble Priest is run by the acolytes of the Fair Lady. Fellow clerics and acolytes get a good discount, everyone else pays fair coin for the rooms. Rooms range from a few coppers to sleep in the stable above the riding mounts, 5 silvers for a shared room and breakfast, 1 gold for a single room and breakfast. The Fair Lady is a deity none of the characters would have heard of before.
Thank goodness searching in posts actually works well - Google does do that well despite other faults they may have). Because of this inn, Windemere Crossing gains 0.5% population growth as well as an extra 20 SP (settlement points) a month. We also have a few other tidbits of info from various previous posts:
Every few weeks however, he (Ira Sprigbasher, the sheriff) gets drunk at the Nimble Priest Inn and stays there versus his rooms above the sheriffs' station near the north of town. The acolytes pray over him, knowing something is off but not sure what it is.
He (Ellis Newtonson) visits the Nimble Priest Inn every 3 days, lighting a candle in one of the back rooms that serves as a generic sanctuary. Each year he petitions for an actual temple, or at least using one of the many abandoned buildings for a sanctuary.
Zhou Smithensonne is the local High Priestess of the Followers of the Fair Lady. She runs the Nimble Priest Inn in Windemere. There is a small cadre of 5 other priestesses who assist with the operations, including Wren, who is a most excellent cook.
He (Timothy Dixon) goes by the Nimble Priest Inn once in a while, and if a bit flush with gold perhaps the Devilish Waters.
Guess these character challenges help me fill worlds full of NPCs. Re-reading about our priestess, I see I partially developed an entire sect for Tinma, one of my gods I've yet to detail out, other than she is the Goddess of All Living Things. Which is a pretty broad thing. Perhaps there are more levels and gods and goddesses in my pantheon I need to develop.
Okay, so once a month when we work on our settlement upgrades, we now have a slight population increase as well as more points to spend. I see I'll need a notebook with a summary page for the town, then worksheets for each building that helps that town and how to improve things. I also think if I do this right, I can generate a living history of the town for when players come into it (oh yeah, they just added those new floors to the Nimble Priest a few months back - said it makes the bards sound better). Of course, this is actually a fair amount of work to do on paper. And as I write software for a living, I can see a lot of potential to doing something to help track this a bit better, especially all the bonus SP and population points. I also see it as a very niche thing - the Kickstarter had 1600 backers, so even doubling that implies a very small number of people go this level of trouble. Sadly I already see the SQL schema but will refrain from starting another project. One of these days I will get back to my Traveller trade program (the original intent of this blog was to track that progress!).
Though this is actually from WDW I think, it is close to how I see the outside of the Nimble Priest Inn
And while looking for taverns and inns, this posting from Imgur has some nice concept art that can help bring taverns to life.
And back to the original point: how is the Nimble Inn doing this month? Opening up the Taverns book, being a small inn, rolling 1d6 on that chart they have a 53 gold profit. There are modifiers we can apply based on things such as reputation and so forth. For reputation they are like home, so no change there. We can also check for any awards we may have received: Yiko's Medal of Superior Service which gives us another 3% so 4 more silver, 5 coppers. Looking at improvements from the Tavern book (which will fit into the Organic Town improvements I think), there is not much there for the Nimble Inn, Via Organic Towns, we could expand to the level III with very nice accommodations. However, that does not fit my idea of this martial artist priestess-led inn. They want inner wealth, not the trappings of the secular world. Taverns also has options for travelling bards, and story tellers (which was in Delver 6) to bring in more guests. For this month, they brought in Trimgell Sandsharp who tells the tale of the Night of the Two Headed Werewolf.
To the crowded room, Trimgell tells the tale of Taleck Driss, the thief, his partner Misun Essim another thief, Krale Jarrish the magic user and Yurk Brokestar, a fighter. The tale starts outside the walls of a monastery. Howls heard in the night, and the glimpse of the creature high on the city walls. The valiant group first encounters the werewolf in the at a wagon, eating a dead merchant (+4GP). While they wounded it (+2GP) Krale was killed in the fight. Chasing after the beast through the town, it was cornered at cliff's edge. Horribly, the two-headed beast split into 2 creatures - a wizard werewolf and a cleric (+4GP). then leapt into the darkness, leaving a trail of blood. Tracking the blood to the creture's lair, they found six kidnapped children! (+2GP). In the end the remaining adventurers killed both the evil cleric and his werewolf, saving the day and the children (+6GP).
Adding all that up, there is another 16 gold. Rolling on yet another table, apparently despite the thrilling tale, the patrons were bored so we only double this to 32 gold. This brings the month's total to 76 gold, 4 silver and 5 coppers.
Additionally this month, a wizard has come into town, looking for children with magical abilities. Rolling on that table, he finds plenty and plans on staying to train them (from Organic Towns).
I'll have to see about worksheets - I think Organic Towns has some, and I need to modify those or add to them for the Taverns rules. And I need to find my Windemere folder - I had printed out a good deal of this, and now need to add my worksheets and all this.
Finally, there are also some game hooks now for the Nimble Inn. We've got several characters, wandering bards telling tales, and possibly some adventure hooks. Fighting at the Nimble Inn seems a bit dangerous as those priestesses are quite adept with those quarterstaffs. They could see the drunken sheriff heading home and about to get waylaid. Perhaps Rennor Lurbuk gets in over her head, and if the adventurers rescue her, her family feels they owe them. And any magic users may want to train with the wizard if this is a period when they level up (my games I tend to do the level up mostly like TFT - you need to actually train and rest, they don't magically appear in the middle of an adventure. Though combat skills can as those are getting used, but learning new spells requires the resources and time).