Taverns & Drakes
Hear Ye, Hear Ye
The Kingdom of Blim, under the Not Too Bad Leadership of King Harold the Adequate, is no longer in need of Adventurers as the Kingdom has more than its fair share and has been satisfactorily protected from monsters of all sorts for quite some time.
With 80 percent of those listing their primary occupation as Adventurer reporting an average annual income of well below the poverty line, the Kingdom strongly recommends would-be Adventurers to instead seek employment in food services, blacksmithing, farming, or crafts.
You’re not going to listen to that, are you?
Yeah, yeah. You’ve heard it all. Your parents tried to convince you to take over the family hog farm, your girlfriend begged you to take that job her uncle got you at the tailor’s, but you were snagged by the seductive call of the Adventurer.
You want the wealth, the fame, the wenches. You want to be the rock star that the elite 10 percent of the Adventurers in Blim are.
So, even though you’ve never so much as thrown a rock at a goblin, you’ve traded in your meager savings for some basic equipment, joined up in a party of like-minded fellows, and have officially opened for business. Now, only if there was someone who needed saving!
Taverns & Drakes is a light-hearted riff on tradition fantasy poking fun at adventurer culture, classes, and fantasy races. It uses a simple system utilizing a single d20 for resolution with an emphasis on fast and fun play. Although intended to use for one-shot games, the setting and system are robust enough to handle long-term campaigns.
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Think it has a nice ring to it? Well so does most of the 16-24 age bracket in the Kingdom of Blim. In a recent census, 45 percent of that age bracket listed “Adventurer” as their primary occupation. Of those, 80 percent listed their annual income as five gold pieces or less, well below the Kingdom’s poverty line.
Adventuring is a cutthroat business. With the elite of the profession holding a monopoly on dragon slaying and saving the Kingdom, the entry level adventurers are left fighting annoying but rarely dangerous goblins, searching for the buried treasure of the local miser’s mason jars filled with copper, or defending a village against the occasional drake, the dragon’s smaller and ornerier but generally less dangerous cousin. Occasionally, when times are tough and their pockets are empty, adventurers resort to creating problems in order to save villages from them.
Adventurers group together in parties to increase their chance of making a decent living and of survival in case they run up against an angry troll or drake. The party is usually a diverse group who bond together over the common goal of making money and gaining fame. The top 10 percent of adventurers are revered in the Kingdom of Blim as celebrities and often receive free equipment, food, lodging, wenches and other perks for their service to the Kingdom. Most adventurers strive to make it to this upper echelon.
The Kingdom of Blim is a huge nation, encompassing vast plains, rocky mountains, rivers, swamps, and a lengthy coastline. If there’s a topographical feature you can think, it’s present in the Kingdom of Blim. The Kingdom is ruled by is 44th monarch, King Harold the Adequate. Under his reign, life in Blim isn’t too bad. Most people do okay, dutifully pay their taxes, go to work, and have a day or two off a week to spend with the kids or go fishing. Long ago, Blim was a dangerous place with lots of dragons spewing forth all types of deadly breaths, vampires, krakens, and other dangerous beasts.
The sheer amount of monsters required brave men and women to take the mantle of Adventurer and make the fledgling Kingdom safe for its people. As time went on, more and more people heeded the call. Eventually, most of the beasts were slain or driven away, but Adventuring remained a lucrative field for the few who could make a name for themselves because of the prestige and love lavished on them by the people.
Adventuring has been a largely poor career choice for some time now, but the lure of fame and riches still draws large numbers of men and women, mostly young ones but some old folks seek to get the glory they never had in their youth or need a new career after being laid off from the flour mill.
As a new Adventurer, you need to establish a name for yourself and make money… by any means you have available. Your party can help you out, but don’t forget that they’re in it for themselves as well. And you distinctly remember your party’s Bard badmouthing you outside the tavern the other night after that run in with those goblin punks…
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