I wanted to do another post with some actual content that can be useful. Here are three establishments you can plug into any campaign.
Undermountain Alley: This tavern is a large building, one of the biggest in the city, run by 4 gnome siblings (Honey, Staves, Stapper, and Horace). It features 2 levels of drinking; the main floor which is furnished with thick heavy wooden furniture and iron trim. This space can easily fit over 100 patrons at a time, seated at round tables that seat 6 comfortably. A large stage flanked by 2 large fireplaces sits on the right wall from the entrance. The 2nd floor is a little more chaotic. Upstairs the servers are wearing hats of disguise and often change appearance at random. Each table has a gambling game of chance built into it, though the cost to play are usually only a copper or silver. On this floor one orders “a drink” and almost anything could be served. Those who wish to be seated at the special table named “The Dungeon” are treated like VIP. Drinks are free when asked for, but what arrive may be stranger or even dangerous! Anyone who wishes to be seated here must be armed! (though no fighting has ever happened). A special gambling game involving players spinning a modified rod of wonder is very popular though it rarely involves players winning money; it is played for the excitement. “Attention everyone! It seems we have some braaaaave adventurers willing to risk the Dungeon! It’s been awhile since we had any takers, and it’s always a good time! Every patron is welcome to a drink on the house on the 2nd floor in celebration! Good luck you noble souls!”
The Fallen Hero: This shop is not popular with many of the citizens, as it deals in the lost belongings of dead adventurers. Items, both of practical value and of uncertain value, retrieved from dungeons, old travel trunks, and loved ones can be purchased here. The owner, a halfling with an eye patch and a keen sense of business runs the shop. He pays well for authentic pieces that can be verified, and his most popular item are old journals and maps. He has a strict policy of no legacy items, though he has been approached with an offer to house and transport one and may need to hire adventurers to help him complete this one time lucrative deal. “Come closer, traveler, and open your pack. I’m always looking to buy that which was lost or left behind. Everything you see on these shelves has a story, a history, and is waiting to find its next owner. If you have the gold, I’d be glad to show you my collection of maps; maps that were taken from the bodies of those who had reached their destination only to fall upon ill luck. Every one of my maps is good.”
Roderick’s Smoking House: This establishment is actually a well-known franchise throughout the western world, and carries many kinds of tobacco and even some stronger hallucinogenic herbs. The owner of this shop is known as Crow, and he wears a masquerade mask with a long pointed beak. He speaks little except about smoking herbs, of which he knows much about. This place is an old building in the city, one of the oldest, and was run just as a tobacco shop until 2 years ago when Crow took over. The previous owner had died and did not have children to take on his business, so it was sold. Crow can tell when people are from out of town, and is not shy about offering them special smokeable herbs that create smoke to harm others (inhaled poison that doesn’t affect the smoker). He also asks if they have any news from the Crecent Moon Island, and if they don’t, he asks if they’d be willing to deliver a special order of exotic tobacco for him. “My herbs are all of the utmost quality, and whether you want something to calm your nerves, enhance the flavour of your food, or simply improve your health, I have whatever you need. Come, let me show you my Amber Thistle smokes; very popular in the southern deserts.”