The Bristled Bullywug Tavern is a system-neutral tavern setting built to be dropped into your campaign at a moment’s notice, complete with characters, backstories, your choice of adventure tangents, and tavern menu!
A battered wooden sign creaks and swings as it hangs off the front of a mid-sized stone building, you can barely make out the faded paint reading “The Bristled Bullywug”. Upon heaving open the solid wooden door and crossing the threshold your senses are immediately overwhelmed by the array of sights, sounds, and smells: Tankards being vigorously returned to wooden tables by their well-quenched handlers; crude, questionably offensive stories followed by choruses of drunken laughter, while the thick smell of stale spilled beverages lingers in the air. The tavern’s occupants appear to be racially diverse, none appearing to hold any biases towards one another, and most patrons seem to pay no mind to the newcomers. After this brief scan of the room you spot the bar directly ahead, and standing proudly behind it you can adequately guess is the bartender, having just finished wiping out a tankard, he carefully adds it to the neat stack of mugs behind the bar and turns to look at you with a warm and welcoming smile…
The Bristled Bullywug
The Bristled Bullywug, before the building had been adorned with the name, was a near-crumbling abandoned building whose owner had disappeared long ago, and therefore was bought at significant discount by the current owner, Theogrin. It took some hard years of renovating and building a reputation from scratch before it became the tavern the locals know it as today. Theogrin at the time of purchase was a nobody, a young stranger from out of town who did various labor jobs for coin. Once the tavern became inhabitable again, however, Theogrin’s reputation grew quickly and widespread as his intense and unwavering passion (And talent) for hospitality spread amongst the locals as the new hidden gem to be discovered. By the time the party arrives, “hidden gem” is no longer an accurate descriptor, as by now, The Bristled Bullwug is now THE tavern, the other taverns in the area simply catching the overflow, or the folk deemed so undesirable that even Theogrin couldn’t find a place for them in his tavern.
Bartender, Male Orc
Middle-aged, bearded, with a bald head and dark brown eyes. 6ft. 1″, strong build with a protruding gut and muscles softened by fat
The bartender flashes you a captivatingly warm grin before giving you a wink and leaning forward onto the bar, in a charmingly deep voice he booms “Welcome to The Bristled Bullywug my friends!”. Standing before you is a 6ft. tall, middle-aged, and tusked Orcish male. His tufts of remaining hair blending seamlessly into a set of bushy black muttonchops that run down the sides of his face, joining together beneath his chin and framing his warm expression. He is bare-chested except for a single leather belt running diagonally across his chest, and around his shoulders hangs a shawl of animal fur.
Theogrin was born in a nearby Orcish village and didn’t fit in with his violent family, but he knew he was simply born for another purpose. Leaving right before he reached adulthood and traveling to the place that would eventually become home to “The Bristled Bullywug”. Working various labor-heavy jobs he eventually saved up enough to buy a near-crumbling building and slowly built it into the lively tavern it is known as today.
- Jokes and general good humor
- Honesty and sincerity
- Providing a good time for patrons
- Patrons who engage in impassioned revelry
- Above anything else, he values his tavern the most
- Patrons starting bad-natured fights over things like biases, bullying, and coercion
- Patrons not participating in the revelry (Taking it as a failure on his part to give that patron a good time)
- People who resort to trickery or threats to get what they want
- Anyone causing damage to his tavern
Barmaid, Cook, Female Halfling
Aged, grey-haired, bright green eyes. 2ft. 9″, stocky build and stronger than she looks
A short, plump, yet surprisingly agile halfling woman bustles out from the backroom carrying a tray of food to a table of patrons. Her mostly grey hair with a tinge of its former firey red is tied up in a messy bun, her motherly face baring two bright emerald green eyes that seem to sparkle. As she dashes around the room, it would seem at first sight she is short-tempered and having a bad time, upon closer look it becomes clear she is loving every moment. She appears to love doting on every patron and being overwhelmed by requests, yet it doesn’t stop her huffing and puffing while snapping back at customers with tongue-in-cheek responses, the looks on the patron’s faces tell you everyone is used to it and most get a kick out of her wise-cracks.
Roselynn is married to a quiet and passive halfling man named Quomo and they have 13 grown children who have all moved on to other towns and cities and started families of their own. It is unlikely Roselynn will disclose her backstory as she will always have more important things to be doing and her backstory will not be of any significance to the party.
- Patrons that get straight to the point
- Being constantly kept busy, while complaining about how busy she is
- Treating patrons like they’re her helpless children, no matter how big and tough they might look
- People wasting her time
- Patrons who are defiantly independent and refuse help/assistance
- People trying to help her and just getting in her way
Entertainer, Rural Boy, Male Bullywug
Young adult, bald with a small tuft of hay-colored hair on chin, bright yellow eyes. 4ft. 8″, short and stocky build, well-fed and soft-bellied
Upon approaching the main tavern area you hear what sounds like burps, splutters, and croaks interrupting what would otherwise be beautiful music played on some form of twangy string instrument. The jeers and boos from the crowd put an immediate stop to the strange noises, and as you round the corner you see a risen platform and stool tucked into the corner, and on it sits a crestfallen Bullywug half hidden under a bright yellow wide-brimmed hat, continuing to skillfully pluck away at the strings and trying his best to recover from his recent failure to include vocals in his performance.
Gringsplunk has a slow, drawling voice coupled with a subtle ongoing rattle. He has a distinct “simple country boy” vibe to him, and his easygoing outlook on life gives off a quiet confidence that is often found charming.
Gringsplunk was born in a nearby swamp/bog/bayou with his large family of over 80 brothers and sisters, their parents either died or abandoned them before they hatched. Though left to fend for themselves as new spawn, they avoided the brutal upbringing often endured by Bullywug new-spawn, this, coupled with a bountiful ecosystem, resulted in the majority of his brothers and sisters reaching adulthood alongside Gringsplunk.
- Playing his banjo to invoke specific emotions from his audience
- Singing (Unfortunately)
- Spending time alone when not performing
- A quiet and peaceful life
- Becomes easily overwhelmed if crowded or bombarded with questions
- People who are constantly in a rush or hurry (Stop and smell the water lilies fellers)
- Busy towns and cities
Noises From Theogrin’s Basement. Patrons will often mention hearing loud crashes and bangs coming from the backrooms and Theogrin refuses to let anyone back there. Certain groups have been heard speculating the noisy occupants are the victims of kidnapping, and end up in the tavern’s “Game & Offal Pies”. (False; Theogrin’s basement has been overtaken by large spiders and he can’t think of a way to remove them without endangering his patrons.) Click here for some creepy spider tokens.
The Mounted Bullywug Head Behind The Bar. Out-of-towners will frequently comment on the grotesque mounted head, some with prejudices will state that it’s typical of an Orc to put such violence on display. (False; Theogrin made the head out of paper mache’ to put the final touch on his beloved tavern, he is immensely proud of it.)
The Delinquents. Theogrin’s tavern has been the target of multiple recent vandal attacks and some of the regulars attribute the acts to a local group of delinquent teens who have inherited a racial prejudice against Orcs from their parents. (True; A local group of teenagers are responsible for the recent damage to the tavern, a few being the children of undesirable patrons who have been banned from The Bristled Bullywug in the past, and likely using racism as a crutch for their damaged pride.)
The Bullywug Predator. Gringsplunk has been a little down lately and some people say half his swamp-dwelling family has been slaughtered violently by an unknown beast. (Half-true; Gringsplunk’s family is currently being terrorized by an unknown predator, but only a few of his many brothers and sisters have gone missing so far.) Click here for some potential predator tokens.
The Bristled Bullywug Menu
|Bullywug Ale||(mug) 4 cp (gallon) 2 sp||A standard ale, gold in color, frothy, no special tricks, brewed on-site|
|Theogrin’s Choice Wine||(cup) 5 cp (pitcher) 2 sp||A commoners red wine, picked by Theogrin and changing each week|
|Fire Whiskey||(cup) 3 sp (bottle) 4 gp||When served in a glass Theogrin sets the top of the amber-colored liquid aflame, the drinker takes 1 fire damage on a failed DC 10 Constitution saving throw.|
|Pear Cider||(mug) 1 sp (gallon) 5 sp||A richly sweet and bubbly brew, mostly clear with a yellow tint to it, served with a little umbrella|
|Bristled Bullywug||(tankard) 3 sp||The namesake of the tavern, this horrific beverage is a mix of all previously listed drinks and will indeed put bristles on a bullywug… drinker must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw to keep it down|
|Sliced Loaf (plain)||2 cp||A small loaf suitable for 1 person|
|Sliced Loaf (buttered)||3 cp||A small loaf suitable for 1 person, served with in-house churned butter|
|Sliced Loaf (with cheese)||1 sp||A small loaf suitable for 1 person, served with local farmer’s cheese|
|Fish Pumpkin Soup (bowl)||6 cp||A heartier option for those still on a budget, a bit boring but does the job|
|Roselynn’s Fire-Roasted Wild Boar & Apple Glaze (chunk)||3 sp||A chef’s specialty that won’t break the bank, she is exceptionally proud of this recipe and it is a patron favorite|
|Game Meat & Offal Pie (1 serve)||8 sp||Small individually baked pies filled with whatever the hunters brought back that week, most commonly boar or wolf, this pie celebrates no waste and uses most parts of the animal|
I’m sure that you can find a use for this tavern in your game, you can never have enough taverns at your disposal! If you do, we hope you’ll share your story in the comments below. 🙂
You can use the button above to download the Bristled Bullywug Tavern map, and I have listed many of the map asset packs used below. You can also find many more on our Map Gallery.
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