Aloha all! @DnDPrincessAria here with my review of one of the new products from Myth Merchant Press, “Tankard Tales: The Comeback Inn”. I’m not normally a fan of 3rd-Party 4E resources, but as a whole, I really think this product will be useful in any 4th Edition D&D campaign. I even used a few of the maps and dungeon dressings in my Werewolf, LFR, and Gamma World games. I know at least where I play, we are trying to get past the whole “you all meet at a bar, here’s your adventure” start-off point, but I recommend having a location with a ton of flavor, lots of needed utilities, and a simple headquarters or meet up place such as this. The Inn has a full menu, rooms, and if you die, you can even come down here (be brought here…) to get raised by the owner! One of the great things about this product is that if you have your own maps for a temple, castle, hideout or such, you can take most of the flavor, characters, strange events, plot hooks, and set ups and place them in any locale you’d like.
A great lesson I’ve learned over the years is that you can lay down huge areas in your world with general statements, and one or two details can make player’s feel that it’s real. This product does a great job at giving you just enough tips, hints, and details to make the Inn feel alive. Up to seventy people can be at the Inn at one time, but with the seven or so characters provided, anything your players come up with to do, you’ll have someone to describe. I especially like Gaston, mostly because he sounds quite a bit like the obnoxious character in Beauty and the Beast, whom I know I’d personally love to slap in the head with a pint. It’s a comedic location, which gives lots of opportunities to point out things which go wrong as adventure hooks. For example, during a Raise Dead ritual, normally the bar stays open with all alcohol and such free to all, as it goes on the tab of the dead guy (sucky to wake-up to I’d say). However, if your players happen to be there on a night of a ritual, and everyone’s perfectly quiet and still, you know something is horribly wrong.
Each encounter is well tied in with the environment and the mood of the locale. My personal favorite was actually the first! I think we get too serious in D&D sometimes. People start taking their characters too seriously, and the fun gets lost somewhere along the way. In this encounter, you’re simply helping out at the bar for free drinks. The brownie servants got a little too far into the liquor cabinet and everyone else is too busy to go take care of the riled-up drunken buggers. Griselda simply offers a free night of drinking, and all you have to do is catch little critters. Sounds easy right? Not exactly. They’re tricky, and it’s a hilarious fight. After each encounter, tips are provided on how to extend or adapt the encounter. I love this, because you can judge how long/far to push a fight or plot line based on player reactions, then there are easy adjustments to make things last longer or change direction. There’s also two new diseases, and stat blocks for most of the generic tavern goers!
If you can, I’d recommend laminating at least the dungeon dressings, and if you can, each of the maps. They’re designed to be layered to customize the rooms for each encounter, and you never know when you’ll need a table and chairs in any other adventure. Each encounter provides a mini map showing you how to set up a combat mat using the pieces provided, which saves space. This product includes over 25 pages of player handouts, maps, combat mat pieces, and dressing. Just make sure you have a full color cartridge before you start printing! Overall, I think this product is great for anyone running a combat based RPG, and especially good for DM’s running a more urban based campaign. It’s a PDF product available at RPGNow for only $4.95, so check it out!
Big thanks to Myth Merchant Press for providing this product to us, for me to review for all my lovely readers.