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Random tavern tales

Started by Andvari, October 01, 2022, 08:11:22 AM

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I like the idea of random tavern tales. You enter a tavern, listen around and hear an interesting rumor. Perhaps it sends you off on a quest or foreshadows some event. Later you return, only to find a new rumor.

But that's not how it works in practice, is it? Don't you just press the button repeatedly until you think you've heard all of the rumors? Other than the idea of how random tavern tales could have worked in a different universe, is there any practical reason not to just have them presented in order so the player doesn't waste their time?


I agree 100%.

In fact, when I have the space available, I forego Tavern Tales completely and use text events to have different patrons around the tavern address the heroes. That way it's more a matter of, a "Have I walked around and seen everyone who's here" situation.

It might be that I'm just getting old and time feels more finite, but pointless tavern tales that are unrelated to the adventure I'm playing just slow me down and frustrate me these days. By putting the effort into creating an NPC to share a statement, I keep myself more likely to avoid those situations.


Hi Andvari. Your observations about the limitations of tavern tales are accurate. I think you can use quest or other triggers (which can themselves potentially be partially randomised) to have only certain tavern tales events trigger, which may (at the cost of a few events and quests) allow you to achieve something closer to your ideal.


This thread got me thinking about something that I'll probably use at some point. You could make random tavern tales the same way you make random loot by chaining a series of events and each tavern event would have some chance of popping. You could make a set of 'common' tavern tales and progressively more rare ones and link specific directions to stuff in the rare ones. The idea would be that general information about something can be 'common', and sorta garbage, but specific information would be rarer to some degree, and much more valuable.
Writer, game designer, and jack of all trades.


Another solution I was thinking of is to base tavern visits around what often happens in tabletop. The party is investigating something and goes to the local tavern to see if there's any information to glean on the subject. Then you'd just have trigger a text event for relevant quests in progress.