Best "rats in the tavern cellar" map?

Jasperak

Adventurer
I did this set up twice. First, between 15-20 years ago my group was burning out from 3e and I threw caution to the wind and started a quick B/X-BECMI game. I made up the starting conditions and map during the first session. I posted the first two sessions of that game in a Story Hour in a forum on another RPG site. In this one the PCs investigated the cellar and found a secret door that lead to a bigger dungeon with large spiders and rats that they eventually learned were controlled by a wererat who worked tangent to the town's thieves' guild. I can't remember if I posted a map or not.

And then a few months ago, I pulled the same for my 9yo son. We are only one session in so he had cleared the cellar and had just found the secret door to the dungeon proper. If I remember correctly he had just walked down the first hallway where I had set up that this dungeon was completely different from the cellar. Since he has just entered the dungeon proper, he hasn't uncovered the wererat's nefarious plot or the vicious dungeon denizens, but the set up is there.

My point is that for a set up that is so 'overused', I only used it twice in forty years and this second time was only because it was so awesome the first time around and I could remember it very well without access to my original notes. Quite frankly, this was one of my most memorable first starts to a campaign, and it is why I went back to it for my son. Truth be told though, he groaned because we have played the remake/port of Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance on the Switch and he recognized the start. I got the hooks in him though with the spider trails and humanoid prints in the dust.
 

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Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Yeah, after hearing people groan about it, I couldn't help thinking it's still a fun set-up. It gets you to know the tavernkeeper and have an emotional connection to the tavern. It makes "we met in a tavern" a logical starting point for a group.

And, honestly, sometimes it's fun to go with a classic newbies-versus-rats scenario.

I like the secret door connecting to a larger dungeon, @Jasperak.
 

The-Magic-Sword

Small Ball Archmage
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Number 1 is a rat encounter IIRC, also the first encounter new players doing the beginner box in pathfinder 2e will ever experience, though its under a fishery rather than a tavern, sourced from google images, lol, although i see from the watermark this is just from someone's official pdf or something.
 




CharlesWallace

enworld.com is a reminder of my hubris
I did a search on adventurelookup.com and at least one came up, but definitely less than I thought.

 

Old Fezziwig

What this book presupposes is -- maybe he didn't?
The starter adventure in Torchbearer 1e, "Under the House of Three Squires," has a dungeon under a tavern with caverns (kobolds in the adventure rather than rats). I feel like it was available for free at some point, but I might be mistaken. A great map and a decent adventure; it'd be easy to convert to 5e or any other edition of D&D.
 

Rhu

Villager
It more of an upscale dining / best inn in the town, but, working on one right now.

You make a good point. While the rats are a way to learn to swing a sword in the 1st place, you do have to find out why they suddenly show up in the cellar (damn goblins digging under the town just stired the right up).
 

Rhu

Villager
View attachment 342922

Number 1 is a rat encounter IIRC, also the first encounter new players doing the beginner box in pathfinder 2e will ever experience, though its under a fishery rather than a tavern, sourced from google images, lol, although i see from the watermark this is just from someone's official pdf or something.
What did you use to build this map? I am still pretty much using a generic note taking and sketching app w/ half tone grey grid sort of like old school pencil and paper days (I did go through a lot of graph paper back in high school in the 80s).
 

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