The Barmaid

. . . I think my son is finally asleep . . . . . . If one of you wakes him, I swear to literally all of the gods, I . . . won’t do anything.  I’m actually pretty sure I’m just talking to myself.  Man, I miss sleep . . . Now, where were we?  Ah! The third and final stat block in my series about bars . . . and assuming you read the title, you already know we’re going to be talking about the barmaid! I got a lot of positive feedback last week for posting links to examples, so in keeping with good business sense, I think I’ll continue to do that.  Hopefully, we all know what a barmaid is . . . Possibly NSFW?  So, I’ll skip the lengthy description. The most famous barmaid that comes to my mind would have to be Tika Waylan, which I strongly suggest you not google . . . Oh god, sooooooo much fanfiction.  She was the brave, naive barmaid in the Dragonlance series who later went on to become somewhat of an adventurer herself.  If you aren’t familiar with the books, snag them off amazon.  Seriously, best two dollar purchase you’ll ever make. I only bring up Ms. Waylan to point out a few things. The first is the trap that many younger GM’s fall into, chiefly that you inadvertently turn every woman in your game into a sex object:

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Tika was described as being a gangly, awkward young woman, who, while pretty, was surrounded by Swedish models, by which I mean the Peter-Jackson’d-to-death-so-hard-I-can’t-even-remember-what-I-visualized-when-I-was-a-kid elves. Seriously?! Kate from Lost? What was he thinking?!  The focus for Tika was always on her endearingly naive and disarmingly earnest personality.  A brief physical description is fine, but any more, and you run the risk of falling afoul of a certain scenario we all know and love: image

You might be going for wanton sex goddess, but my question would be . . . why?  What the hell would she be doing serving drinks at the local tavern?  My advice, stick to something more interesting and a little more three dimensional.  Allie, Farmer Jethro’s daughter, who likes to get into a little trouble after her shift.  Poor orphaned Leah, who has learned from a life around rough men how to turn their advances so artfully, they’re almost never offended.  Maybe even Young Jenna, the Innkeeper’s daughter, who works the bar to help Pa, and who’s OFF BLOODY LIMITS if you want to keep your mitts unbroken! Have fun with her, and unless she has some vital part in the story, only make her as memorable as you need her to be. Oh yeah, obligatory “it doesn’t have to be a her,” etc.  I’m an equal opportunity . . . imagineer?

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D20 Stat Block: Always remember that servers get their money from the kindness of strangers, so it’s in their best interest to have a high charisma, maybe a 13 or 14.  For a more naive person, drop the wisdom to an 8 and leave everything else at a ten.  If, despite my incredible advice, you still want to populate your bar with bombshells, hike the charisma up to the 16-18 range.  Bear in mind, however, that charisma doesn’t necessarily mean good looks . . . you might have a hideous bar wench (It’s ok, I’m taking the word back) who is loved by everyone she comes in contact with.  Skills?  If your game has a carousing skill, bump it up.  Spot, sense motive, local knowledge, and perform are always good choices too, but never so high as to take away from your player character’s spotlight! Thanks for reading!  If you like what you see, please leave a comment and a suggestion for my next topic . . . and as always, don’t fall for the kobold pit trap!

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