The tavern is one of the great staples of fantasy gaming. It’s where the characters meet. Where they speak to that mysterious stranger. Where they cut purses and goose wenches. The tavern is the medieval equivalent to the modern bar or roadhouse.
Or is it? Americans don’t really have a good context for understanding the English pub—and, hence, the medieval tavern. (Here in the States, even those bars that style themselves on pubs really aren’t, because the pub simply fills a different social role in the UK.) So we tend to cast our fantasy inns and taverns on the models we have at hand: bars, restaurants, roadhouses, and roadside motels. But spending a little time in an actual English pub (or three) can give you a different perspective.
Over on the Fascinating World I talk this week a bit about real English pubs--what they're like, how they're different than most gamers think, and what this means for the fantasy tavern.
Drop on by and let me know what you think!