Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Withered Rose Tavern of Eltabbar

Art by SnowSkadi

Not long ago in Eltabbar, the hidden temple of Samora was blessed with a great influx of gold.  Its high cleric, Azonia Valgon, decided to gift some of the surplus to her newly arrived cousin, Viktor, with the stipulation that he invest it in his new city of residence.  With somewhere around 1,000 gold pieces to spare, he sought a run-down tavern amidst the many in the district known as Wayfinder's End.  And when he found just the place, he bought it through proxies so no one would know that it was sponsored by a noble.

Why a seedy place, you ask?  Because Vik enjoys slumming, and besides, lower end real estate is still expensive in the capital city.  Why pick a business destined to be surrounded by the competition of other taverns and inns?  Because the hospitality district sees a great deal of movement, welcomes those within the city and from without - and Vik was planning on adding an additional feature to the menu.  Having taken over prostitution in facilities great and small with the help of his family in Tyraturos, he knew it could work in Eltabbar.

He had learned that a simple start would be best.  The basement is for storage and whatever hijinx the crew wants to get up to on their breaks.  The first floor, at street level, is the front of the poor tavern dubbed the Withered Rose.  It serves alcohol and not much more, but is staffed by the best drunken bar(d) tender, Reggia, formerly in the employ of House Gozal.  Anyone she hired on as help was fun but wily.  The premises are also guarded by a fit and handsome crew chosen by Kayzin Molvar, a prostitute's son raised among them and fiercely protective of them.

The second floor is outfitted with a collection of sparse rooms that would be servants' quarters elsewhere.  In this location, however, two of the rooms have single beds for pleasuring customers and the other two have bunk beds for the workers to sleep in, if they have nowhere else to stay.  The stable of prostitutes is not much more than a handful, but specially picked by Vik's concubine Yasheira, a diamond in the rough that he plucked from the rough and tumble whorehouses of Tyraturos.  They even receive some of the special training she has learned from her patron.

Eventually, Vik's fledgling business drew the interest of his cousin Ustarra, a former head of House Valgon in Tyraturos who fled with Vik's aid to Eltabbar.  Since he helped her to secure a place after she escaped a suicide mission her half-sister was sending her on, she offered to become a silent partner.  As in, she would sneak in and around, helping the venture thrive whenever she had time to spare, and no one would be the wiser.  Very fond of his drow-blooded "aunt," Vik accepted her offer.

The establishment is, in its own way, dedicated to Samora, the goddess of forbidden pleasures Vik serves.  It is named for one of her unholy symbols, a withered rose.  No one reports what is said there, even when drunkards rail against nobles or zulkirs.  No one judges the patrons who ask for whatever dirty little things their hearts desire.  Nobles have slummed as patrons (including its owner) and even as the entertainment (giving his cousin Azonia some real fun).  It is a pit of wicked fun in a city that is often too staid and suspicious for its own good - which may account for its success.

Behind the Screen

This location was pioneered by my partner in crime and supported by his fellow players.  It is one of several player-owned businesses in our Eltabbar campaign and can serve as an example of how such a thing can be run.  As a long-time fan of the Stronghold Builder's Guide, I was already using it for the other players' venues and upgrades.  I was also already using a customized version of the DMGII's rules for determining profits, so all I had to do was add personal touches for Viktor and his new acquisition.  Once everything was set up, it became automatic.  New month, new roll.  Add the modifiers that apply and go.  Pay the costs or reap the rewards, and invest in upgrades if desired.  So far, the Rose has remained as rough as it was on opening day.

Keep in mind that I run for adults who enjoy adult material and have a twisted sense of humor.  While nothing here is graphic, it is not exactly tame, but it is all fictional and meant in good fun.

Tavern Cost
adjusted from the Stronghold Builder's Guide  

Basement Level - Storage, basic: 250 gp
First Floor - Tavern, poor: 450 gp
Second Floor - Servant's quarters, basic 400 gp

Staffed via the Cult Leadership feat, it has few bells and whistles so monthly expenses are generally low.

Tavern Monthly Profit Check
adjusted from the Dungeon Master's Guide II

Primary skill: Bluff
Secondary skill: Diplomacy, Perform
Roll Bluff check DC 20

Modifiers (vary by month):
Owner has 5+ ranks in secondary skills +1
Owner spends 40+ hours a week at job +2
Owner gone from city -2
Located in a city +2 (will go to metropolis numbers after spending 16,000 gp)
Previous profit check failed (-1 per consecutive check failed)
A business partner successfully aids during the term (Ustarra) +2
A specialist is on staff (Reggia) +2

Difference in DC check *20 gp is profit or loss for month.

The following chart is to see if any unusual activity has happened.  Roll d%.

  • 1. Patient zero confirmed: Foul STD gets loose among patrons/employees. Pay 1D4*100 gold for healing, bribes.
  • 2. Kay and the boys go overboard: Beat customers too bad. Pay 1D4*100 gold healing, damages, bribes.
  • 3. Burning down the house: Major property damage (often fire-based). Lose 1D4*100 gold and/or items.
  • 4-5: He's dead, Jim: The wrong person dies in flagrante delicto and is tied to the tavern. Lose 50% profit.
  • 6-7: Only two sure things in this world: Unexpected taxes. Pay 1D4*25.
  • 8-9: Rolled and raging: Whores accused of stealing from customers. Lose 2D6*10 in gold for lost profit.
  • 10-11: Well, this sucks: Establishment robbed. Lose 2D4*10 in gold and/or items.
  • 12-13: Everyone's staying home: Unusually slow. Lose 50% profit.
  • 14-15: I drank what?!: That wasn't just a worm in that bottle. Fined 1D10*10 gold.
  • 16-17: La cucaracha!: Infestation of vermin. Pay 1D8+2*10 to be rid of the vermin.
  • 18-19: What did you call my mother?!: Tavern brawl gets out of hand. Pay 1D12*10 to fix damages.
  • 20-21: Reggia really lets 'em have it: Insult a roomful of customers. Lose 3D4*10 in gold.
  • 22-23: Bitches be trippin': Rumormongering and naysaying. Lose 1D12*10 gold.
  • 24-77: Nothing to see here: Normal business.
  • 78-79: Well-oiled machine: Served more brew, screwed more, too. Gain 50% profit.
  • 80-81: The dirty Szass Tam: Patrons appreciate what the whores are willing to do. Gain 1D4*25 in items or gold.
  • 82-83: The frat house special: Take on a private party. Earned additional 2D6*10 gold.
  • 84-85: Donkey show: A spectacle boosts business. Gain 2D4*10 gold in additional business.
  • 86-87: The bouncers are hot, too: Unusually busy. Gain 50% profit.
  • 88-89: Have to buy wings to talk to the Raisins girls: Devoted regular. Gain 1D10*10 gold.
  • 90-91: Bringing down the house: Solid performances bring in the customers.  Gain 1D8+2*10 gold.
  • 92-93: Tits for tat: Temporary business relationship. Gain additional 1D12*10 gold.
  • 94-95: Just passing through: Caravan is grateful. Gain additional 3D4*10 gold.
  • 96-97: Must've dropped it on the way home: Forgetful patrons leave trinkets behind. Gain 1D12*10 in items.
  • 98: Outdrink Reggia!: Well-advertised drinking competition. Gain 1D4*100 in gold and/or items.
  • 99: Nobles be slummin': Generous donor. Gain 1D4*2000 gp to invest directly back into the business.
  • 100: Samora's bounty: Anonymous donor leaves 3,000 gp of goods from the BoEF (or BoVD with permission)

No comments:

Post a Comment