View Full Version : [TAVERN] The Ghostrun (Comments welcome!)

2006-02-14, 09:35 PM
The Ghostrun

You thought that you had some notion of what would happen in the afterlife: those righteous souls are transported to the blessed fields of Elysium, whereas the sinners and heretics endure the eternal torment of the nine hells (or somewhere like that; it depends on who you were worshipping). But the journey to eternity is not always so simple.

You didn't expect it to be like this. You didn't expect it at all. One second you were talking to your adventuring companions as you opened a seemingly ordinary door, and suddenly you are here.

"I must be dead," you reason. "But this isn't Elysium. Well, at least it's not one of the nine hells. At least, if it is, it's not as bad as those priests let on."

You've heard all the ghost stories, all the campfire tales. Sometimes when folks die, they don't go anywhere. You certainly haven't. Perhaps your soul's duty was left unfinished. Perhaps your soul's hold on life was stronger than your body's. Perhaps a you just didn't have any final destination in mind when the end came. Whatever the case, you're dead with nowhere to go.

All you can see is an empty void, if seeing such a thing can be considered seeing at all. No, that's not quite true. There's something in the void, something in the distance. As you squint to see it better, it is suddenly in front of you.

The appearance startles you; you almost fall (probably would have if you were experiencing any sense of gravity). The something standing before you is an oddly undefinable yet welcoming building. Hanging above the door is a placard depicting a jovial, white-sheet ghost holding a pint of ale. Branded on the sign is the words "The Ghostrun."

Before you can move, the heavy wooden door opens with a sigh, revealing the expected reverie of a tavern. But something is eerie and unsettling. Then it hits you: every patron here is dead.

As you enter, you see a motle assembly of bodies sitting around tables, some looking as health as the wench at the last inn in that last town, some beaten, run-through, or swollen with water. But everyone is boistrous and jolly.

"Might as well order a drink and find out where I am," you figure while at the same time wondering if the dead need to drink at all. Couldn't hurt, at any rate. Maybe being dead isn't so bad.

But you can't help wonder: "If I'm not in heaven and I'm not in hell, where in the gods' names am I?"

The Ghostrun is a tavern on the plane of spirits (or the etheral plane, or plane of shadows, or astral plane, or whatever plane fits your setting best). Sometimes death isn't the end; it's just a transition. The Ghostrun is a nice stop-off as you figure out where the next destination in your eternity will be.

This is obviously just the start, just my quick, off-the-cuff description. Please feel free to comment.

(for easy reference)

We all know that the best adventures always include at least one trip to the local tavern - be it the Prancing Pony or the Mos Eisley Cantina - and countless epic campaigns have gotten their start over a mug of ale. In this contest, you get a chance to design your own tavern wherein many a great adventure can begin.

The trick is, the tavern's name and theme have to be based off your screenname.

The rules are as follows:

1) Even though it's called the tavern context, you can actually design any place where adventurers adventurers congregate to form parties and plan adventures. You can even design an event, like a fair. The only requirements are that the location/event be open to the public (and especially adventurers, which means it has to accept a rather varied clientle), and, if it's an event, it occurs on at least 7 days every year. Note that this doesn't mean it has to be easy to get to - the tavern could very well be on another plane of existance!

1a) You can make a tavern for a fantasy setting or for a science fiction setting. Since certain stats may be required, use the D&D and d20 Modern/Future SRDs in order to determine these. Avoid using any trademarked or copyrighted properties - ie. you can't make a Star Trek specific bar, nor one for ShadowRun, Firefly, Wheel of Time, or Lord of the Rings. If at all possible, do not make a bar that is specific to one D&D setting either.

2) The name of the tavern must be based upon your screen name. If your screen name includes numbers, articles (the, a, etc.) or pucntuation (!, _), you may omit these. If your screen name consists of two words (eg. a noun described by an adjective, or a full name), you may omit one of these words (preferably the adjective in the case of the first example). You may add as many other words to the title as you wish, and you may rearrange the words (but not letters) in your screen name as well (this includes splitting compound words). See below for more detailed guidelines.

3) The theme and design of the tavern should relate in some way to your screenname, but how is up to you. If your screen name is based on an old PC, feel free to base the tavern on him or her.

4) Each entry must include the following:

* Box text for the tavern - ie. what a DM would read the first time a party enters.
* Physical description of the inside and outside of the bar, specifically any notable features. Maps are nice, but not required.
* Additional background & history (in particular, include DCs for Knowledge (local) - and/or other appropriate Knowledges - and Gather Information checks to find out information about the tavern)
* A brief description of the proprietor (or at least one major NPC the party encounters), including a brief physical description, class levels, and maybe some relevant stats. This does not need to be (and probably shouldn't be) a full NPC write up.
* At least one plot hook related to the tavern in some way.
* A signature item. For an actual tavern, this is simple - just come up with a speciality drink or food item. Preferably non-magical; this should at most be a sort of keepsake or momento.

5) Each new entry should have a thread started on the contests board with [TAVERN] at the start of the title.

6) When your entry is complete - and not before! - post a link to it in the entries thread.

7) Follow the contest guidelines.

8) The contest starts as soon as this thread is posted, February 12th, and entries will be locked and final on March 14th at 12:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (5:00 PM UTC/GMT).

9) Have fun and good luck!

Judging Categories

* Best Articulation of the Screen Name Theme
* "Wish I was There" (award for the tavern you'd msot like to visit yourself)
* Best Signature Item
* Best Adventure Hooks
* Best Fantasy
* Best Science Fiction
* Funniest
* Best Overall
* Gorby's Seal of Approval (Website Staff Award)

If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

1) Since I've already allowed you to only use only a single word from your screenname, you must use the entirety of that word. You can use a variation on it only if it only adds on new letters at the beginning or the end.

Example: If your screenname contains "Joke," Jokes, Joker, or Joked would all be fine. However, if your screenname contained "Angry," Angered would not work.

2) You may change numbers from their numeral to the written word or vice versa (three to 3). This may also be done with a phonetically spelled letter (Tee to T). This cannot be the only word you use in naming your entry, however, and you may only do this if the number or letter is a seperate word from the others in your screenname. This is an exception to #1.

Example: If you screenname includes "1138," you can change it to One-thousand One-hundred Thirty-eight (or the same number in another language). If you screenname includes Four, you can change it to 4 (or IV).

Note: If your screenname consists entirely of numbers and individual letters (THX1138, for example), you have to use the entirety of the screenname in order to meet the requirements.

3) If you change your screenname for some reason, and this change would invalidate your entry, you must change your screenname back by the end date of the contest and keep it that way until voting is complete. If I detemine that you have changed your screenname just to make it easier to enter this contest, I will disqualify your entry.

Example: Say your screen-name is "The Blue Clad One." Under the rules, you could name your entry "The Blue Rat." If you change your screen-name to "The Pink Clad One" for Valentine's Day, you must change it back to include "Blue" before the end date (and you can't change it to "The Green Clad One" for St. Patrick's Day unless voting is finished by then).

I have recieved a few questions in regards to whether or not it's okay to use a name for your entry that is similar to or related to your screenname. This is not allowed. You must meet the requirements as explained above. For example, if your screenname is "Hairy," you can't use "Furry."

14 February - Added rules 1a to allow Science Fiction based entries and to clarify other issues. Modified Awards (removed Most Original and Most Likely to Be Used in a Campaign as other categories essentially covered these; added Best Fantasy and Best SciFi).

14 February - Added additional specifications in regards to questions about how to meet the screenname requirement.

2006-02-20, 01:10 AM
I just read over the rules a little more closely, and I'm not sure if my current tavern name is allowed. Any ideas?

2006-02-20, 11:11 PM
I don't think it is within the rules. I believe you are allowed to add letters, but not subtract.