Taverns are as much a part of D&D as d20s, but what should you actually do while you’re there? We’ve got a few ideas for you to try…
Sling enough dice and you will, at some point find yourself staring down the screen of a DM who is sitting there, describing as best as they can, the different kinds of ale you can find with all the enthusiasm of George R.R. Martin realizing that he’s found an excuse for his characters to have a banquet.
But we don’t all have the luxury of being mercifully cut down by the Freys in order to get out of some tedious taproom description. With that in mind, here are a few things to do the next time you’re waiting for a hooded figure to give you a quest, in taberna quando sumus.
Drink like there’s no tomorrow
As the song goes bibit ista, bibit illa, which might seem obvious, but hey you’re there and the DM hasn’t yet introduced whatever plot device is there to move you along, so you may as well try and talk the DM into letting you roll on the carouse tables in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything to see what happens next. You might make a friend, you might make an enemy, you might wind up in charge of the local theatre festival and married to a surprisingly understanding dwarf.
Brood in a corner
Why should rangers have all the fun? Look around for a corner. The darker and danker the better–go sit there and watch carefully what the rest of the tavern does. Ask your DM in between descriptions of how frothy the ale is if you can make a stealth check so you’ll already be hidden when things invariably go down. In the meantime, start coming up with a name for most folks around here to know you as, since they won’t necessarily know you by your right name.
Your luck might be ever changing, like the moon, waxing one day and waning another–but you may as well push it while you have the chance. Roll some dice for a reason other than combat, and find yourself betting against patrons less fortunate than you. Just take care who you bilk or might insist you go back to fighting sooner than you’d like.
Do a crime
There are a lot of people gathered in a tavern usually. They almost certainly have gold or silver or platinum or some other valuable that they can’t appreciate, and would do well to be rid of. So why not help them along by picking their pockets clean until your DM sits up and takes notice that you’re talking about buying this whole stinking tavern.
Hire some adventurers
Look, going on the adventure that the mysterious hooded figure wanted you to go on sounds like it’s going to be a lot of work. And that won’t necessarily fuel your lifestyle devoted to creature comforts and capes. But you know, you could probably just get a hood yourself, and then hire some adventurers (for less money than you’re getting paid) to get out there and clear the dungeon for you. Why should your character get their hands dirty when there are other people willing to do it for you?
And that’s just five things to do when your game stalls out in a tavern. What are your favorite bits of tavern life in a roleplaying game? Let us know in the comments!