Originally, for Savage Zanzibar, it was going to be a European-style city in Africa, kind of like Macau was a Mediterranean city in Asia. That changed during the development, but before it became a German colony, I had completed some preparatory work. Specifically, I made a selection of pub names and descriptions that could be used whenever the PCs found such an establishment. I was going to do the same for all kinds of different artisans and merchants. That fell by the wayside as the project developed, but it might be useful for those running Victorian or Enlightenment games in a UK-style setting.
I printed out the table below, the cells for which were sized to fit on cue cards, which I could then re-use in various campaigns and similar settings. I have done the same with NPCs for True20 – since I generally run human-only campaigns, a mook from a fantasy can easily be ported into a modern or steampunk game.
Here is the data for pub names and descriptions. Excuse formatting issues – table formatting doesn’t port well from Word to WordPress.
The Swan with Two Necks
Judge and Jury
Coach And Horses
These pubs are categorized as “posh” (or expensive, upper class establishments), “respectable” (for artisans, white collar workers, and servants), and “poor” (for the lower classes, itinerants, and criminals)
Situated on the corner of a terrace of smart cream painted houses, this pub has clear glazed windows with painted flowery patterns bordering them.
A single bar dominates the back wall, and behind it is a mirror with a brightly coloured, intricate fleur-de-lys pattern around it. A clock tops the mirror, and its resonant ticking can be heard in quieter moments. surrounds.
The wood of the interior has a rich, deep cherry colour. There are stone fireplaces at opposite ends of the bar, burning wood rather than coal.
Entry to this pub is through a solid oak door. There is no sign or other notice of the purpose of this space. Once inside, a young lady offers to take your coat and hat, and a large man in a fair facsimile of fashionable clothing watches you warily.
Beyond this entry foyer is a large open space with three levels, each level encircling one lower. Tables of black and silver fill the levels and patrons sit at cushioned chairs with metal frames. Some women are in evidence, though very few.
(With the theatres now closed, the tables are filled with fast young “swells” of the Banks. They flash smiles and straighten their fashionable suits while smoothing down moustaches waxed to perfection.)
The interior is genuine high style Victorian with impressive plaster cast ceilings. The long bar is sectioned by ornate glass partitions that twinkle and catch the light. Some of the sections are private, i.e. they are served exclusively by the bartender.
The furniture is all ornate, with tables of the same wood as the bar on the walls. The chairs are cushioned and with ornamental carvings on them.
You notice there are no women in this establishment.
On the bottom floor of a two-story building, this pub is accessed by two different doors, one for the dining room and one for the saloon. The family pub is separated from the mens saloon by a wood divider with occasional panels of frosted glass.
The saloon is noisy and smoky, filled with men in respectable if worn suits and hats. A single bar curves around the back wall, serving both the saloon and pub, and allowing the smoke and noise to drift between.
The dining room, on the other hand, is quieter, with men and women, and some families, sharing meals and sedate conversation. Here, the clothing is less worn and may be their Sunday best.
The stairs from the street lead down a metre below street level then through a gateway. This leads to an open court area with many tables and chairs. Stairs lead up to landings that encircle the court, with what appear to be bed-chambers or possibly private rooms. The court is open to the air.
The Cedar Tree – Respectable
The wood and brass of the doorway into this public house is spotless, as is the dark suit of the local welcoming people.
Upon entering, there are three doors through which one could pass. To your left is a saloon and the lettering on the door indicates no locals. Before you is the door to the dining room, which also indicates no locals. Finally, to your right, is the public room. The lettering on this door indicates no women.
Dining Room: The dark wood, while worn and marked in some places, glistens. Care is obviously taken in the maintenance of this establishment. The furniture has nothing
Coal Horse – Respectable (beerhouse)
Wandsworth Road in Smithal (tail of the Reach)
Its brown brick facade looks as much factory as drinking establishment, but the interior is cosy enough. The saloon, where the meet with Aidan is to take place, has serviceable tables and chairs, and there are a couple of local women serving.
The tap room has a multitude of casks behind the bar, but none of them are tapped. Behind the bar are a set of faucets with pumps on their sides. There are no tables, though stools line the walls and the few wood and frosted glass dividers.
The Black Friar – Poor (tavern and gambling hall)
New Fountain Road in Newington, the Warrens
This is a place of worn and scarred wood, where the choking smoke is welcome as it hides the mouldy odour. Behind the bar is a wall of casks and bottles, jugs and jars. Anything that can make a man comatose and can be served in a cup is there for purchase.