Beneath the Screen has a free floor-plan and background notes for a great little tavern / inn useable for D&D or other fantasy systems (Use This Tavern). I love little things like this because one of the things that has always bugged me about designing and running adventures is the need to constantly reinvent the wheel. The need to create yet another remote hamlet where that minor but vital-to-the-plot encounter can take place; or the umpteenth temple to the god of goody-two-shoes where the players can get healing; and the grand daddy of them all, the ever faithful tavern or inn.
I must of created hundreds of inns over the last 25 years of GMing. Sometimes on the fly, sometimes carefully planned. At one stage I got fed up with it and just used exactly the same tavern layout with the same basic name depending on the adventure: The Goat & Garlic; The Goat & Werewolf; The Goat & Elf and so on. The players quickly cottoned on to the fact and by the end they could navigate round the tavern with their eyes shut.
One solution to the problem of re-inventing the wheel is to keep a folder of different plans clipped from various magazines or adventures but this is not without its own problem. E.g. wrecking you nice collection of Dragon’s or actually finding the one you actually want to use. In theory, the internet should make this easier but try Googling for “D&D Tavern” or “D&D Inn map”. Buried away in the mass of outdated links and irrelevant pages are a few gems. Decent maps and settings can be found but it takes so long to filter out the rubbish it’s often quicker to make your own up.
Partly to solve this problem, that we have created an Adventures sub-domain for 6d6. At the moment it is just a sample adventure, the first part of Adrian’s Quorakon trilogy, which we are using to test some layout ideas. Over the next month I will be developing that side of the site to create a new RPG tool.
The idea is simple. A tool for GMs that cuts down on the drudgery of writing such as reinventing the wheel and creating monster’s stat blocks, and lets the GM focus on the ideas and adventures. Our planned GM tool will allow GMs to quickly put up new and existing material in a consistent format under a Creative Commons license. Then allow anyone to browse it online for free, and even create new encounters and adventures by mixing up NPCs and room layouts from other GM’s adventures.
There is a lot of work to do but I have about a month where I can dedicate myself full-time to the project. This will get it to a useable beta stage after which we can recruit adventurous GMs who are willing to act as guinea pigs for the new system. This starts next week so expect regular updates.