Underground Taverns

Spaces for shopping while dungeoneering have always been a feature of video games, my recent podcast discusses this as it applies to Northport. I thought I would share some NPC’s involved in this establishment, a re-purposed tavern near a slaughterhouse that was abandoned due to a rat infestation that is now a service entrance to an underground bar  (sort of like Peter Dell’Orto’s Tavern Level of Felltower) and adventuring supply station.  Ever since evil cultists have taken to the undercity, the clerics of the Hadereum have been issuing “Adventuring Licenses” to hunt them down without paying taxes on the proceeds.  In the main tavern there is a large winch set up over a 4’x4′ trapdoor that has been used to lower masonry supplies and also a small iron golem.

The owner of the establishment is Ashbury. the place is The Abattoir.

This is the crew that works there:

Above ground:

Benoit Dufresne is a bartender (125point inkeeper) 
who operates the surface level
of Ashbury's Abattoir.
 Mostly he serves simple fare to workers from the
slaughterhouse across the street, and receives
 deliveries for the lower level.
He lives on the upper floor along with some of the 
downstairs crew.

Benoit is based on both the
 Bartender and the Inkeeper templates from DF 10

Benoit Dufresne, junior innkeeper
ST:11 DX:11 IQ:11 HT:12
HP:11 Per:13 Will:12 FP:!2
T/S 1d-2/1d+1
Basic speed 5.00 Basic MV 5 Dodge 8

keeps a loaded crossbow under the bar, 1d impaling

[5] Will +1
[10] Jack of all trades 1
[5] Charisma+1
[1] alchohol tolerance
[1] improvised weapons
[1] membership, Guild of Brewers and innkeepers
[-5] Chummy
[-10] bad temper
[-5] gluttony
[-5] no sense of smell
[-3] Obese

Quirks:[-5] Nosy,
dislikes clerics,

Bartender [4] 13
Brewing [2] 12
Streetwise [4] 12
Brawling [2]12
Wrestling [8]13
Diplomacy [1] 10
Area Knowledge, Northport [1] 11
Current Affairs [2] 12
Gambling [1] 10
Carousing [2] 13
Crossbow [8] 14
F/d crossbow from under counter [4]13
Axe/mace[4] 12
Throwing [4] 12
Merchant [1] 10
Observation [2] 13
ATT: 70 ADV:31 DIS:-33 Q:-5 Skills: 60 Total: 125
Another relative of Ashbury, 
Clarice works as a cook at the Abattoir
Clarice is built using the servant template
 from Peter Dell'Orto's DF15

Clarice, tavern cook
ST: 10/11 DX:11 IQ:11 HT:10
HP:10 Per:11 Will:11 FP:10
T/:S:1d-2/1d BL 24lbs
Basis speed 5.00 Basic MV 5

Clarice wears simple homespun garments,
 and has a fine quality large knife
(she keeps several knives in the kitchen,
 but that one is her favorite.

Adv: [25]
[10] Goodwife+2
[15] unfazeable
[1] Recipe [Dire animal]
[3] Lifting ST +!

DIS: [-30]
[-5] basic speed-0.25
[-4] unattractive
[-5] incurious
[-10] no sense of humor
[-5] truthful
[-1] intolerant of lechery

Quirks:[-5] Cheap, pragmatic, dour, judgemental, blunt
Cooking [8] 15
Housekeeping [1] 13
Bartending [2] 11
Scrounging [1] 11
Urban Survival [4] 12
Knife [2] 12
Axe/mace [2] 11
Throw knife [1]
Brawling [1]
Stealth [1]
Observation [1]
Search [1]
Sewing [1] 13
Gardening [1] 13

Clarice spent a bit of time fending for herself 
when the formerhousehold she worked at collapsed 
when the merchant heading it was killed
by bandits, and has a number of great preparations 
for giant rat.
She keeps to simple drab things, and saves her money.
A woman of few pleasures, she enjoys a good brandy
 and a pipe on occasion.
Below Ground:

Small Charles, brother to Yeoman Charra 
(captain of the guild halberdiers) 
is a dock laborer with one leg.(Lost to Jin the Yakuza)
 he has 63 points of modifications  toward being an innkeeper:
+1 st, +2 iq, carousing 2 brewing 2, bartending 2 
current events 2 crossbow 2, 2 points in guild memberships 
and 1 point in merchant.

Small Charles was a laboror working on the docks,
 when some guild action (blockading a ship from unloading 
while a third paying party robbed it)
resulted in an attack by adventurers trying to prevent the robbery, 
and his left leg was smasked by a Yakuza's tetsubo, shattering it beyond even
the restorative healing of a cleric of Sethyg, and had an amputation above the knee.
The United Dockworker and Longshoreman's Guild has a very strong retirement plan
for members who know how to keep their mouths shut, and a reciprocal arrangement
with their sister organization, the Guild of Brewers and Inkeepers. After his
injury, Charles, who is the brother of Yeoman Charra of the Adventurer's Guild,
was placed after some training, into a position as a bartender in Ashbury's

Small charles is built on the Laborer template from Peter Dell'Orto's DF15, with
63 points of a custom lens for Inkeeper (from DF10) added on to bring him to 80pts

Small Charles, one-legged bartender
ST:14/16 DX:10 IQ:11 HT:12
Hp:14 Per: 11 Will:11 FP:12
T/S: 1d/2d
Basic Speed:6.00 Basic Move:2

[5] fit
[6] Lifting ST+2
[6] hard to kill +3
[1] membership:Unighted Dockworker and Longshoreman's Guild
[1] membership:Guild of Brewers and Inkeepers
[1] membership: Adventurer's Guild
[1] alcohol tolerance
[7] independent income, pension
[-20] lame:one leg
[-20] reduced move
[-5] code of honor: stays bought
[-5] callous
     Colorul tattoos on his arms, distrustful, loud
     Proud of his fish stew, twitchy left eye
Brawling [2] 11 lifting [2] 12 Wrestling [2] 10
Animal Handling (equines) [2] 11 Packing [1] 10
Teamster [1] 10 Axe/mace [2] 10 Streetwise [1] 10
Carousing [2] 12 Brewing [2] 12 Bartending [2] 11
Current events [2] 12 crossbow [4] 12 merchant [1] 9
Cooking [1] 10

Att:80 adv:28 dis:-50 q:-5 sk:27 total: 80 pts
Lourdad is a brute with bully, callousness, social status:criminal
2hd axe maxe, uses heavy spiked mace, has 4pts in strike knee manoeuvre
Streetwise, compulsive carousing, code of honor pirate
Unattractive, high ranks in intimidation

Lourdad was one of Connard Du Menteur's enforcers who collected debts,
and surrendered to the party that shut down the establishment.
He is now employed as a bouncer at Ashbury's Abbatoir.
Lourdad is built on the Brute Template from Peter Dell'Orto's DF15

Lourdad, Brute

ST:14 DX:13 IQ:10 HT:12
Hp:14 Per:10 Will:10 FP:12
T/S: 1d/2d
Basic speed: 7.00 basic MV:6 Dodge 7
Parry: 12

Lourdad wears light scale torso armor DR3,
With heavy leather sleeves, leggings and boots DR2
And carries a spiked maul (2d+4)
Adv: [25]
[15] Combat Reflexes
[10] High Pain Threshold
[-5] basic speed-0.25
[-5] callous
[-5] code of honor, pirate's
[-5] compulsive carousing
[-5] Social Stigma: criminal
[-10] Impulsiveness
[-5] stubbornness
[-10] bad temper
    Knuckle tattoos (amour/haine), facial tattoos around eyes,
    easily offended, compulsive tattooing, despises gambling
Brawling [2] 14 Wrestling [1] 12 Knife [1] 13
Two-handed Axe/mace [16] 17
Maneuver: leg strike [4] +2
Armory, body armor [1] 9
Crossbow [2] 14
Forced entry [1] 13
Carousing [2] 13
Intimidation [4] 11+
Streetwise [1] 9
Bartolemu is Strong Claire's cousin, and works at
 Ashbury's place,The Abbattoir

He is built on Peter Dell'Orto's Guard template from DF 15

Bartolemu, Orcish guard

ST 13 DX 11 IQ 9 HT 13
HP 14 Per 10/12 Will 10 FP 13
T/S 1d-1/2d-1 BL 34
BS: 6.0 MV 5 Dodge 8 Parry 8
DR: Head 4 (pot helm) Torso 3 (heavy leather), Limbs 2 (Leather)
He carries a cheap blunt ended broadsword (1d cr/2d cut)
and a crossbow (1d+2 impaling)

ADV: [15] Orc (hearing +2, will and per +1, res met hazards +3,
         rapid healing, infravision, ugly, bully, social stigma:Savage)
     [1]  Sacrificial parry
[-5] Mv-1,
[-10] struggling,
[-5] Code of honor, Stays bought
[-5] wounded (right knee)
[-5] callous
Quirks: [-5] horrible hangovers, brooding,
            scar on his palm (was stabbed through it),
            walks with a noticeable limp,
 always has a toothpick in his mouth
    Brawling [1] Knife [1] Wrestling [1]
    Broadsword [2] 11  crossbow [8] 14
Armory, Missle Weapons [1] 8
Forced entry [1] 11 Intimidation [1] 9+ Jugga (sport) [1] 10
Hragosh is an orcish merchant, working in Ashbury's Abbattoir
Orcs have been working in this and other guild concerns after
the Adventurer's Guild  guildmaster Rigo Bleak  struck a deal 
with the orcs to have them ease up street violence so as not 
to interfere with gambling operations that the guild has a piece of.

Hragosh is built on Peter Dell'Orto's Agent template from DF 15,
 with elements of the Cheerer background I presented on my blog

Hragosh, Agent
ST 11 DX 12 IQ 12 HT 13
HP 12 Per 13 Will 13 FP 13
T/S 1d-2/1d+1 BL 22
BS 6.25 Base MV 6 Dodge 9
DR 1 wears a gambeson and quilted leggings, and boots DR 2
She carries a decent thrusting broadsword (1d-1 imp/1d+2 cut)
and an ornate large knife (1d-2 imp/1d+1 cut) she has a silk fan

[15] Orc(+2 hearing, +1 ST, +t HT +1HP,-1 IQ, +1 per, +1 will,
         res to met hazards+3, infravision, rapid healing,
         base appearance of ugly, bully, social stigma: savage)
[10] comfortable wealth
[4] Unattractive appearance (attractive to orcs and other goblekin)
[5] charisma+1
[1] penetrating voice
[-5] chummy
[-5] Code of honor, pirates
[-15] greed
[-10] xenophilia
[-5] stubborn
[-5] overconfidence
[-5] sense of duty, adventuring companions
Quirks [-5]
     always feels too hot, loud, likes to party, forward,
      proud of a silk Sahudese fan she carries
  Merchant [8] 14 Streetwise [2] 12 Carousing [2] 14*
  Fast talk [2] 12* Public speaking [2] 12*
  Sex appeal [1] 12* Intimidation [1] 12* 
  Area knowledge, Northport [1] 13
  Scounging [1] 13, Singing [1] 13 Dancing [1] 11
  Broadsword [4] 13 Brawling [2] 13 Knife [2] 13
Martin Haight is the nephew of Ashbury,
works with Lourdad, Small charles, Hragosh, and Bartolemu
He is built on the Apprentice template from Peter Dell'Orto's DF15

Martin Haight, Commercial apprentice
ST 10 DX 11 IQ 13 HT 11
HP 10 Will 13 Per 12 FP 14
T/s: 1d-2/1d
BS 5.0 Basic MV 5 Dodge 8

Carries a silvered dagger (1d-3 imp)
DR 1, torso and feet, DR 0 elsewhere

[25] Magery 2
[10] comfortable
[9] FP +3

DIS: [-50]
[-10] Lazy
[-5] Skinny
[-5] unfit
[-5] klutz
[-5] oblivious
[-5] Per-1
[-10] BS-0.5

       Supernatural feature:fingers and wand leave
       glowing streaks in the air when casting, cheap,
       Compulsive reader, horrible hangovers, unkempt

Alchemy [2] 11 Thaumatology [2] 13
Occultism [2] 13 Hidden Lore: magic items [2] 13
Hazardous materials (magical) [1] 12
Research [1] 12 Speed reading [1] 12
Philosophy [1] 11 Natural Philosophy [1] 11
Hidden lore: Magical Writings [1] 12
Shortsword [4] 12
Knife [2] 12
Throw knife [2] 12
Cartography [1] 12
Fast-talk [1] 12
Stealth [1] 10
Merchant  [1] 12

Spells: [20]
Light [1] 13
Continual light [4] 15
Lend energy [1]
Recover energy [4] 15
Detect magic [1] 13
Foolishness [1] 13
Daze [1] 13
Sleep [1] 13
Mass Sleep [4] 15
Apportation [1] 13
Magelock [1] 13

Att:90 Adv:44 Dis:-50 q:-5 SK:26 Sp:20 total:125

Martin's primary occupation is the manufacture of
continual light objects to sell to adventurers.
He wears an oversized black hooded cloak over 
dark blue robes, of which the torso portion is
equal to cloth armor.
He carries a silvered dagger and a wand wrapped
 with gold wire and set with a crystal, it has 
Wizard's Staff cast on it and is a power item for 5 FP

Like this? Support my Patreon and Buy my stuff

Mentioned in the podcast and above:

Ruins of the Undercity

DF15 Henchmen

DF10 Taverns

Tim Shorts MicroAdventures

Other megadungeons with underground taverns:


Podcast: History of Northport

Listen to the newest episode of my podcast,

Ramblings Of A Gamer And Artist: History of Northport

Had some recent shout outs from other anchorites, Tim Shorts

And Larry Hamilton

At some point, I will figure out how to include call ins to the podcast.


This was a big inspiration, and had a review of GURPS Horror I looked at what it considered to be the weakness of the game, lack of a highly detailed setting, and just kitbashed CoC for it.

GURPS Classic Fantasy

This was a book I used for years, and I borrowed a lot of the setting, Yrth, later released as Banestorm in 4e. Real world medeival folk, complete with religions and all that jazz

Also mentioned: Stonehell Dungeon

Michael Curtis had some stuff I plagerized, like the Plated Mage


The Glass Harmonica

Seriously, Amazon lists two for sale- jump on this!


The Giant Under the Snow

You can get this on Kindle now. Giant earth elementals, witches, liches, armies of undead!


Enormous Turkish underground city


Ruins of the Undercity

My first OSR purchase! A great way to solo play by Kabuki Kaiser

Lesserton and Mor

What happens after the orcs win the war.


Katherine Kerr wrote an epic series about a cursed wizard and incidentally did some world building that inspired me.

Swords Against Wizardry

Fritz Lieber describes a megadungeon in the Lords of Quarmall. Gotta have air circulation !

The Chronicles of Prydain

Lloyd Alexander introduced me to fantasy, and to the Gwythaint from which I draw my moniker.

Join my game, Northport

Support my work, at my Patreon


Get this now GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Setting: Caverntown

Only $10 at warehouse 23 get it here

This comes very close to the way I run Northport.

What you get: 49 pages of how to run a slightly abstracted city that is built within bowshot of a collection of dungeons. There is significant interplay between guilds and a number of powerful (325-500pt) delvers who run the show, with agood feel for how they and your characters interact. No dungeons are presented, but plenty are suggested. It is a nifty and unique setting and a great way to base a campaign.

Megadungeons reviewed

The OSR has spawned so many massive megadungeons that I have had to buy quite a few.  I played AD&D into its second edition, but never got to pick up Undermountain. I did spend quite a bit of time even then thinking about never ending corridors, and layer upon layer of labrynthian wierdness making its way into the Underdark. I drew isometric maps using the Dungeoneer’s Survival Guide, and that passion renewed with Peter Jackson’s depiction of Moria in FotR.  Recently I have been following Dyson Logos’ excellent blog, and after this post, I ordered some more isometric graph paper.

From Lulu.com and Rpgnow.com I have been buying batches of big dungeons for inspiration.

The Dwimmermount  campaign is nothing short of brilliant.  An entire world, where the revised history puts a completely different spin on the origins and identities of the familiar fantasy races, feeds into and is focused on the megadungeon built into the mountain. The technomagical construction, the live interplay of the factions that have real reason to be where they are, the detailed descriptions of materials and magic items, and even the gags like centuries old demotivational posters and Star Trek references all work together to make it feel right. And by right, I mean clever, weird, old school and mysterious. It also explains the wierdness without limiting you. It is a sandbox, not a railroad, and just enough detail is given as to let you make it your own.  It is a wonderful piece of work. It manages to provide a valid explanation of how hybrids like owlbears and minotaurs come about, without there being a pawful of bloody feathers or unspeakable cattle violations.

There are some ideas shared between this and  Michael Curtis’ StoneHell Dungeon.  Both involve factions and technomagicial alternatives to Lichdom as a means of prolonging a spellcaster’s life. There are some similarities between the central villain of Dwimmermount and Stonehell’s plated mage that I enjoy; these ideas have similar inspirations but a very different flavor.

Castle of the Mad Archmage,   on the other hand, while having a definite history in Gygax’s Castle Greyhawk (and I owned the parody of that too) and a powerful central character who made it all function, and tons of delightful demi-planes, does not feel quite the same. Because it was trying to evoke not a memory of a thing, but the actual thing itself, sometimes it is a little strained, like someone trying to hard to retell a half-remembered joke.  There is very solid work in it, and definite levels of inspiration in all of these products.  I do like all three of my megadungeon purchases, but I just happen to like Dwimmermount the best of the group.  After all, they have Githyanki.