This week I got a chance to interview the man behind the operations at LoreSmyth, Chris Van Der Linden, about his new Kickstarter campaign for a Guide to Remarkable Inns & Their Drinks. I go deep into what the book is about and some of the mechanics you will see in it.
So Chris, Tell me what is the book about?
Remarkable Inns & Their Drinks is a book all about taverns and really takes it to a whole new level. Many adventures and campaigns start in a tavern, but it was surprising to us how many times it’s just a “mandatory” stop to get the real story in motion. We felt that’s kinda sad cause it can be one of the most vibrant places with lots of colorful characters and opportunities for roleplaying. So this book is all about giving the GM a ton of content, ideas and options to turn a run of the mill tavern visit into something really fun and memorable.
What made you want to create a book of Inns and their Drinks?
After we released our first adventure The Claws of Madness we were looking for something to create that was not an adventure. Because there is so much content being released already, we really were looking for something that would stand out. This boils down to every aspect of development, including choosing a rather goofy title like Remarkable Inns & Their Drinks, it’s kinda humorous and that was a gamble. We hoped it would make people frown and go like “hey what?” and stand out from what everyone else is doing. Most publishers seem to be doing larger than life stuff that’s all about being Epic and Bombastic, so we thought it would be quite funny to do something with a title like this. Of course our book deals with much much more than just drinks, it’s really an expansive tome.
What can we expect to see in the book?
The book is made up of three big sections. The first is a detailed series of eight taverns, at 4 pages each. They include a rich history, npc’s, drinks and food, secrets and rumors to serve as story hooks. They are designed so that they can be easily dropped into anyone’s campaign world. They are super flavorful and you can expect to see some pretty wild and creative things in this section.
The second part of the book is all about bringing your inns to life. It offers some interesting new gameplay mechanics you could use, roleplaying ideas, chapters about songs, tales, games, gambling, bar fights. The scope is pretty wide and intended to inspire GM’s to pick and choose things they love to use in their games.
The last section of the book is for those who want to create their own taverns. It is filled to the brim with random tables, options and lists to roll up a fantastic inn. There’s many useful tables such as memorable features to characterize an inn, services, innkeeper’s mannerisms, tavern names and even a giant list of 100 More Story Hooks for your taverns.
A lot of work has gone into developing this book and we hope people will feel that we didn’t cut any corners anywhere and really went all in to create the ultimate book about taverns.
Is this only for Dungeons and Dragons or can this be used with another system?
The book is designed to be compatible with any RPG system. We are still in the final editorial stages, so some refinements are being made. But 95% of the content is written generic enough it doesn’t require a certain rule set, a GM can quickly see how to run it in his/her game. There might be a few special effects from drinks/dishes that have rules specific terms, but even those are quite easy to translate to say Pathfinder or another popular game.
Can you explain the various ways that a Game Master using this book will be able to create their own Inn or Tavern with the resources provided within?
We like to think this book will be something the GM returns to often, when preparing sessions or a longer campaign. If you need a quick, ready to use inn, there’s plenty to choose from that are complete with npc’s and backstory. Those who love rolling up their own stuff will find lots to love in the book, and the random generation tables and options provide virtually unlimited possibilities. GM’s that like experimenting with deeper or different gameplay can find a wealth of ideas in the book, that might end up being player’s favorites. Imagine for example how certain sought after combat skills must be learned by tracking down a sage veteran, and befriending him to become your trainer, as opposed to simply gaining enough XP.
What is your favorite aspect of the book? Any particular Inn you are fond of?
What I really love about this book is that it’s so rich. There’s so much going on, you keep coming back and finding new details. Even reading through just the pre-created inns will spark many story ideas. You really feel like you’ve been traveling the world and have been seeing all these amazing places, from dark clandestine dens to magical floating inns amidst the clouds.
When can Kickstarter Patrons expect the product to be at their fingertips?
We are aiming for an August release date. But since the Kickstarter has been so successful (we funded in less than 2 days!) we are anticipating a possible later release, because the increased funds allow us to do more. We don’t want to leave an opportunity unused to make the book even better, so yeah. We are really closely involving our backers/community in this as well, allowing them to chip in what they’d like to see.