Dungeons & Flagons Essentials: Barroom Blitz

Dungeons & Flagons Essentials: Barroom Blitz

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A hush fell over the bar. Everyone turned to watch, tensing for the likely outcome. Hands slowly, nonchalantly, moved to grip bottles and tankards. A single voice hacked through the heavy silence, “Say that again. Say it to my face!” Any second now the tavern would descend into a flurry of shattered furniture and brawling figures. All it would take was one punch…

The scene is familiar: the heroes are in a seedy bar, drinking so copiously one would think their liver personally offended them. An offhand comment is made, perhaps by the adventurers or perhaps at their expense. Suddenly there are chairs flying and bottles being broken over heads as a bar brawl erupts. Bar brawls are iconic, but can be tricky in Dungeons & Dragons. Most bars that cater to adventurers should realistically require weaponry to be checked at the door, which would restricting the use of powers and class features. Choosing appropriate monsters on the fly for a bar fight can be awkward; enemies cannot be so potent as to seriously threaten the lives of the weaponless PCs – especially if they have been drinking – but neither can they be paper tigers to be casually brushed aside by the adventurers. And if the bar brawl was unplanned there might be an uncomfortable delay while  the GM finds statblocks or responds to improvised actions. The aim of this article is to provide a handful of simple options to turn your next bar brawl into an exciting diversion or full-fledged combat.

Revised Chart

With the changes to diseases and DCs in the Rules Compendium the Intoxication track also needed to be revised.

Intoxication 2

Weapons & Powers

Any innkeeper worth his apron knows that when the humanoid tin can with the six-foot length of sharpened metal or the man in the dress covered in stars with a matching pointy hat tries to walk through the door of your inn you look gruff and point to the “no spells, no swords” sign. But a good adventurer is never truly unarmed.

Improvised Weapons, One-Handed

Weapon Prof. Damage Range Weight Group Properties
Bottle, full n/a 1d4 5/10 1 lb. Mace Light thrown
Bottle, broken n/a 1d4 1/2 lb. Light blade Off-hand
Cooking knife n/a 1d4 4/8 1 lb. Light blade Light thrown
Dart n/a 1d3 10/20 Blowgun Light thrown
Skillet n/a 1d6 2 lb. Mace
Tankard n/a 1d4 1 lb. Hammer Off-hand

Improvised Weapons, Two-Handed

Weapon Prof. Damage Range Weight Group Properties
Billiards cue n/a 1d8 1 lb. Mace, Spear
Chair n/a 1d6 4/8 7 lb. Mace Heavy thrown
Mounted antlers n/a 1d8 5 lbs. Heavy blade High crit

Powers

In addition to improvised weaponry, there are a number of special attacks characters can employ while in a bar brawl. Most require specific improvised weapons, terrain, or situation. These are designed to compensate for the lack of standard weaponry in a bar fight.

Bottle


Chair


Pool Cue


Distract


table


Misdirect

Terrain Powers

Not every attack in a bar brawl can be repeated attempted. Some attacks depend on the environment and have a limited number of uses.
chandelier


table2


puddle


bar slide

New Monsters, Bar Brawlers

A bar brawl is nothing without people to attack. These foes are designed for tavern brawls, with fewer than average hit points to reduce grind and make for a faster brawl.

Barmaid

Barmaid

Bottle Hurler

Bottle Hurler

Bouncer

Bouncer

Pickled Brawler

Pickled Brawler

Rabble Rouser

Rabble Rouser

Raging Drunk

Raging Drunk

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About the Author

David aka Jester has contributed to the Powersource Podcast, Goodman Game's "Book of Rituals", "Dragon" magazine, and has been a longtime member of the Ravenloft fan-community the "Fraternity of Shadows". His semi-regular blog can be read on the Wizards of the Coast community site. Follow him on Twitter at: twitter.com/DnDJester