Inns of the Empire

This tool can be used to quickly generate names and characteristics for all kinds of hostels, coaching inns, taverns, clubs, and brothels.

Inns of the Empire is dually inspired. First, by the Random Fantasy Business Names generator by Mike Hensley at hackslash.net. The tool's functionality is based wholly on the work of Henrik Grönberg in Liber Fanatica, Vol. III. Credit is due to both individuals for the inspiration.

Step 1: Name

Your players decide to get a drink and some food, maybe pick some pockets, and get the local gossip. You, the GM, suddenly need a name for the establishment. Maybe you need a couple of names, or more, because you want to pick the "best one." Look no further…

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Step 2: Create Details for the

Establishments have the following types: hostel, coaching inn, tavern, club, and brothel.

Type, Size and Quality of Establishment

Selecting a type and size of establishment tweaks the number of rooms and chances that a service, like gambling, might be offered on premises. If you want to see the motivations used in constructing the details of an establishment, click the information icon (more information icon) at any time. Quality, appropriately so, applies a markup to all prices to services and goods at the establishment.

Type more information icon

  •  Hostel
  •  Coaching Inn
  •  Tavern
  •  Club
  •  Brothel

Size more information icon

  •  Small
  •  Medium
  •  Large

Quality more information icon

  •  Poor
  •  Common
  •  Good
  •  Best

No Vacancy? more information icon

Reputation

  •  Good (-10%)
  •  Bad (+10%)

Party Arrival

  •  Morning (+20%)
  •  Evening (-20%)

Local Event

  •  Special Event
    (-30% for festivals, merchant caravan just arrived, executions, &tc.)
Size of Establishment

The size of the inn will modify number of rooms and the availability of various services.

Small
1/2 number of rooms, -25% to availability of services
Medium
no modifiers
Large
double number of rooms, +25% to availability of services
Quality of Establishment

Although an establishment normally falls entirely within one category, exceptions do exist (e.g. Common quality lodging but Good food).

Poor
All prices half-off!
Common
no modifiers
Good
x3, triple!
Best
x10, to keep the riff-raff out of course.
Types of establishments

A hostel is an inn providing food and lodging, while coaching inns (or riverside inns) are larger (and often fortified) establishments serving many other functions as well.

A tavern is primarily a drinking establishment located in a settlement, sometimes offerings food and rooms as well.

You can read more about hostels, coaching inns, and taverns in the Old World Armoury, pages 88-89.

The club is the tavern's more fashionable cousin. In clubs, the clientele is restricted in some way, either to members (and their guests) or to a certain social group (like the nobility or the merchant class) and they almost always have dress codes.

Brothel should be quite self-explanatory.

Room for One More?

Vacancy options modify the portion of rooms and beds available (in that establishment—not to be confused with Availability as described in the Equipment chapter).

Vacancy may serve as inspiration for an encounter (“why is it empty?”). Conversely, a busy evening or even that the inn is “overbooked” with guest being asked—even urged—to share rooms or sleep on the floor (or in the stable).

For example:

An inn will begin with a random base percentage: 43%. The inn has a good reputation (43% - 10% = 33%). The party arrives in the evening (33% - 20% = 13%). The road wardens are adjudicating the fates of several goat rustlers and the community has turned out for a hanging (13% - 30% = -17%). No rooms are available, the party might need to look elsewhere…

Welcome to

Number and Sizes of Rooms more information icon

Dorms are presented as number of beds (bunks, cots, &tc.). All others are number of rooms.

Reknowned for… more information icon

On tap or by the glass… more information icon

Inn-cident? more information icon

Bar Brawl
A good old-fashioned slugfest breaks out over spilled ale or harsh words, and after only a few seconds pretty much everyone is involved. The air fills with bottles and jugs, and don’t forget the effects of alcohol (WFRP p. 115). The fight lasts 1d10 rounds, after which the ones still standing help clean up the mess.
Bet
Someone at the inn challenges one of the PCs to a wager that could be amusing, unfriendly, high-stake, life-or-death or—why not?—all at once! The bet can be about pretty anything from a drinking contest, game of cards, disagreement over some fact or a duel.
Cook For a Day, Food For A Lifetime
The PCs overhear a quarrel in the kitchen and sees a very angry cook throwing a stained apron in the Innkeeper’s face. The cook takes his two daughters who also work there, with him and leaves immediately. The Innkeeper is miserable and turns to the PCs for help with running the inn until he can hire a new staff. He can offer some pay, but also free food and boarding for some time. If they accept, for a night they will have to face the nasty things in the cupboard, disappointed guests demanding refunds (or ‘refillsch’!), quarrels between guests and all the charm of running an inn. (Innkeeper: WFRP p. 73)
Damsel in Distress
The PCs hear a scream from one of the rooms, and a few seconds later a half-dressed woman in her early 20s comes running down the corridor or stairs. After her comes a likewise half-dressed man in his late forties. He catches up with her and slaps her so hard across the face that she falls to the floor, dazed. She is Klara, an orphaned girl from another village who ekes out a miserable living as a prostitute. Unless the PCs intervene (no one else will) she can offer little resistance as he grabs her and starts carrying her back to his room. Whether the PCs intervene or not this is quite likely to have consequences.
Galloping Trots
Some time after dinner it becomes clear that pretty much all the guests in the inn suffer from food poisoning. As the queue to the privy grows longer, more urgent and less civil, the Innkeeper and cook swears they did nothing wrong. If the PCs investigate they will notice that the lock to the pantry has been picked. (Galloping Trots: WFRP p. 136)
Drinking Contest
One of the PCs is challenged to a drinking contest by a slim looking fellow who presents himself as Adelbert. Drinks are on Adelbert, but last man standing receives 1 gc. As the ales go down the gathering crowd starts cheering the two contestants along. Adelbert has a Toughness score of 56 and Consume Alcohol +10%. (The Effects of Alcohol: WFRP p. 115)
Rumors Abound
Like every other inn this one is brewing with rumours, gossip and hearsay. Whether there’s any truth to them is hard to say, but for the inhabitants of the Old World it is far from unlikely:

Outlaws are currently troubling the area, but you can be safe because they only seem to attack people with money.

Someone allegedly made a strange observation in the next village, where all the inhabitants were behaving very strangely.

A notorious criminal just escaped, and the authorities are searching the vicinity. Watch out, because he is desperate and prone to violence!

An inappropriate love affair is much talked about, between a noble or merchant or senior official and a peasant girl, waitress or handmaiden.

The settlement has a serious rat problem, and Rat Catchers are currently being summoned to do something about it.

A merchant was gruesomely murdered yesterday. However, the perpetrator was caught and it was the poor merchant’s heir. He must have been the only one who didn’t know the victim was broke!

An attack on the settlement is imminent, but the authorities refuse to issue a warning. The militia is armed, the watch is doubled and mercenaries are hired.

A large quantity of beer is missing, stolen from a local brewery. And then, at the next inn or tavern the beers are strangely cheap…

A well-liked inn was recently closed for reasons untold, but there seemed to have been something wrong with the sausages served there.

A local tradesman cheats his customers, selling products of lousy quality. He is protected by a trade guild, so there’s no point in complaining.

The Thing on the Plate
The Innkeeper is very pleased with a new dish he has prepared and is anxious that all his visitors get at least one large serving. Quite happy with himself he walks around serving everyone personally. Unfortunately it is quite horrible. In fact, swallowing even a mouthful requires a successful WP-test (with a +10% bonus for Resistance to Poison) to swallow. Failure–or declining altogether–might have consequences.
Things that go ‘BANG’ in the night
The PCs are awakened in the middle of the night by a loud noise. It can be a door slamming shut, gunshot, a brawl, a dispute, a shout for help or something more unnatural. May very well be a false alarm– or even a dream–but there’s always a chance it isn’t.
Ulman under Cover
Also staying at the inn is a nicely dressed middle-aged man with a local dialect who presents himself as ‘Ulman’. Articulate and inquisitive, ‘Ulman’ engages in conversations with pretty much anyone and seems very keen on getting people to reveal their view on religious matters and the local leadership. In fact, he is the nobleman (or senior official, or cleric) Freiherr Erich von Regensburg, who likes to skulk around his subjects in disguise. He then uses the information to his own ends. He has two bodyguards with him, who sit at another table. The PCs, likely being a rather conspicuous bunch, soon attract his attention—for better or worse.

Services more information icon

  • Baths?
  • Games?
  • Snug?
  • W.o.I.R./M.o.Q.R.?
  • Stables?
  • Blacksmith? No
  • River/Road wardens? No
  • Look-up or oubliette? No

Rates

The prices below roughly correspond to the prices in WFRP (p. 114–116) and Old World Armoury (p. 88–89).

Sustenance

  • Breakfast 2 p
  • Lunch 3 p
  • Dinner (1 beer) 5 p
  • Packed Lunch 3 p
  • Ale 2 p
  • Beer 1 p
  • Spirits (1 shot) 2 p
  • Wine (goblet) 3 p

Services

  • Stabling 10 p
  • Bath 1 ss
  • W.o.I.R. 10 p+

Lodging

  • Common Room/Dorm 5 p
  • Single Room 5 ss
  • Double Room 10 ss
  • Large Room 15 ss
Build a new inn?

Acknowledgements

Inns of the Empire is inspired in part by Mike Hensley’s Random Fantasy Business Names generator at hackslash.net. The content, information, and modifiers are based wholly on the work of Henrik Grönberg, as presented in Liber Fanatica, Vol. III.

Availability of Services

The presence of services like baths or Women of Ill Repute (which sometimes includes Men of Questionable Reputation) or the presence of a snug (a small private dining or sitting room) is determined by a number of factors. It should be noted that, here, “service” means the inn-keeper himself employs a person to provide the service or otherwise encourages it: there’s nothing stopping two guests from playing cards just because there’s no croupier employed.

Coaching Inns: In addition to the presented services shown, coaching inns often have a blacksmith employed to repair coaches and shoe horses. Many coaching inns also serve as bases for Road or River Wardens. In those cases there’s often some sort of look-up or oubliette where prisoners can be stored until transported to the nearest town.

Number and sizes of rooms

Rooms come in four sizes: single, double, large, and dormitory. The size of rooms is a factor of the type of establishment, e.g., brothels almost never have anything other than single rooms, close quarters for the ménage à trois…

Number for dorms is number of beds. All others are number of rooms. Singles have one bed; double, two beds; large, four beds.

[spitting ale, eyes wide in disbelief]

“Did you just say two comely lass!? Why, whoever heard of such debauchery?! Your story is heresy! and you do best to hold your tongue in these parts.”

Inn is known for its…

If you want to come up with a few notable characteristics for this inn, use the following options. Some might not make sense in context or repeat (the nature of the random d10 roll). You can also blend items…

Shady waitresses and Old-fashioned waitresses might become Shady, old-fashioned waitresses, or old-fashioned, shady waitresses.

Inn Encounter

A old-school random encounter. Tailor for the party, or the party being thrown.

“A mug of your finest…”

Many inns in the Empire are known for their beer or locally produced hard cider (and “known” does not always imply “famous”…).

* panaché is a blend of beer and some other beverage.