Who Did I Punch? 20 Tavern Brawlers for 13th Age

I started my Blackmarch 13th Age campaign this past weekend. It’s sort of like True Grit with swords and magic, and I decided to get the players into the frontier spirit by kicking it off with a good, old-fashioned tavern brawl.

I treated the other brawlers as low-hp mooks, so the PCs could emerge as epic bar fighters capable of knocking out three men with a single punch. A couple of the brawlers got colorful physical descriptions, and one or two lines of dialogue before they hit the floor. The players responded so well that they’ll be back later: maybe looking for revenge, maybe looking for help.

I created a list of 20 ready made tavern brawlers for use in future punch-ups. Use them freely in your game, and I hope you’ll add your own in the comments.

You just punched a(n)…

  1. Icon in disguise (to see which one it is, have the players make icon relationship rolls; if none succeed, choose randomly from the icons that weren’t part of the relationship check; if more than one success is rolled, you have the fun of deciding why those icons are traveling incognito together…)
  2. Scarred half-orc wearing a tunic with the symbol of the Three on it
  3. Tipsy gnome swinging a turkey leg like a club
  4. Dark elf with a crow perched on his/her shoulder, which flies squawking up into the rafters
  5. Ranger wearing the unit patch of the 75th Regiment
  6. Underboss of the local thieves’ guild
  7. Druid wearing a crown of hissing, snapping carnivorous plants
  8. Messenger for the Archmage carrying a leather courier pouch, which goes skidding across the floor and under a table
  9. Wizard who drops a glass bottle to the floor; it shatters and a vile little winged homunculus with nasty sharp teeth flutters out, cackling with glee
  10. Dwarf miner, and all of his/her friends are now turning their attention to you
  11. Stone golem; you take 1d4 damage from hitting a living rock, you big dummy
  12. Old man playing a lively reel on a fiddle
  13. Ghost of a deceased tavern patron who died while drunk, and drunk he/she remains
  14. Young man in a broad-brimmed hat and improbable mustache; they fall away to reveal it’s actually a young woman
  15. Zombie; your fist is now covered in foul-smelling zombie goo
  16. Bastard child of the Emperor; you literally can’t take a swing around here without hitting one
  17. Strange tall person whose cloak falls away to reveal three halflings standing on each others’ shoulders
  18. Paladin of the Crusader, who was just about to win a bet on how long he/she could balance a full mug of ale on his/her head
  19. Time traveling assassin
  20. Person you’ve been looking everywhere for, without success.
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