Plenty O' Enterprizes
Every city, town, or large village will have businesses. Some will be inns, some stores, and some people providing a service. And then there are some places that are not common and so out of the ordinary that we leave them off when describing a city. This codex will help with turning the mundane into the magnificent.
I would first like to thank Moonhunter for always coming up with the smash mouth type of subs of his. The list of 30 was a great idea. This was a submission I wanted to add in addition to the 30 NPC list, but it is falling short of that mark by a considerable number.
While not being NPC's I thought that a list of 30 Shops, business, and establishments would be a great idea. Although once again Moonhunter has the honor of adding a codex of Establishments. So after being disappointed once again, I began reading the places that he had linked, and while they were great they were common in a sense.
My list of, hopefully, 30 Businesses of the Rare and Unique will be a new look into what we can get packed into our city settings. I hope this is worth it.
Cities are a perfect place for role-playing. It gives everyone a place we can be familiar with in some form or another. We all have lived in a civilized society to some extent for some time now and can relate to the need for certain things to be there and available, even in a fantasy environment.
A market place for instance. People need to sell their wares and in an environment where shipping via land, sea, and air was slow or impossible or expensive; merchants take to their own and move it themselves and setup shop in a bazar or market.
Clothing venders are another thing you see that is common and important. Inn's, taverns, food shops, bakeries; all are important, needed, and always there.
But what about the odd places of interest we neglect? What about taxi services? What about repair services? Things that we neglect to think of because we assume that they do not have the need or technology to provide the service?
I beg to differ, even something as complex as a taxi service is possible, and was possible even in our own history. This codex is a testament of that and I hope that it makes it to 30 so it can follow in the footsteps of the big 30 List. Some of these may turn into full subs at a later date however.
Blades and Things:
A common weapon shop of minor fame. The qualities of the weapons made here are not spectacular or of master quality by any means. They are strong, durable and well made but nothing that would adorn the side of a noble. Even so, the fame comes from the fact that the smiths here can produce weapons in nearly half the time most other smiths can. This makes Blades and Things the place to go when trying to outfit a larger group of people on short notice.
Eppers and Son:
Eppers and Son, sometimes called Epperson's, is the leading repair and remodeling business for nearly every kind of building within the city gates. No longer run by Eppers or his sons, the name was kept for the integrity of the business to keep its clientele. No job is too big or small. From fixing a cracked floor or roof, to putting marble in your home, the guys at Eppers and Son will do it all.
Not officially affiliated with the churches, they are however run by priests of multiple faiths. When a new home or building is completed within the city, the Priests of Sacred Places will come and cleanse it of all ill spirits. This has turned into something of a needed thing in some areas as the death of beggars due to sickness and drunks turn the good neighborhoods into nightly haunts for the dead. If a death or haunt/ spirit are found to be haunting a home or business, the priests will come and allow it to pass on, leaving the living alone. For a fee of course.
Chinks and Plate:
A well respected shop of high quality, most notably with the rich upper-class, nobles, and well paid mercenaries. The goods here are costly yet well worth the fees. Custom made armor of all kinds of metal can be found in this shop. Nothing is on display that is for sale as every piece is produced individually for the customer's request. This is high quality metal armor with a unique aspect. If you want to have your armor etched with dragons and lions fighting, they can do that. You need scabbards built into the metal plates of your armor, they do that as well. Many nobles who are more interested in pomp than warfare will have custom made armor etched with battle scenes that they supposedly were in all enameled with reds and golds' to be seen from afar.
Aron, Alex, and Anders Mobile Cartwright's:
This is a unique and profitable business and they take much pride in their services being the only company to have the kind of service they provide. They are the most known and most used cartwrights in the city and outlying area. Their special service, they travel to you when you have a problem with your cart, wagon, or carriage. They will travel up to five miles out of the city and fix and repair and broken wheel, axel, or other required part to keep the vehicle in working order. During busy times in the markets cries of, 'Get the guys from triple A here, we have a wheel down.' And a runner quickly runs and tells them of what is needed. They arrive quickly and work right there to get the issue resolved.
Cal's Health Wagon:
Cal is a retired doctor that saw the hardships of the real world after he left his practice of medicinal healing. By all means he was never a miracle worker but he helped the ill, set broken bones, and brought many people back from a case of pneumonia or other illness. Knowing how hard it is to get from the residential homes to the district where the medical offices were he opened up a business to fix that. When someone is injured and can not travel on their own, Cal sends his grandson and other workers to their homes or the place of injury and drives them to the medical centers in a special fashioned cart of pads and straps. Some churches use them to help transports the seriously injured or ill to them so they can be looked at with a more divine healing aid.
Ben's Barber Box:
A small out of the way shop for men to get their hair cut and beards trimmed to the latest fashions. The atmosphere is comforting and welcoming to everyone and is a place they call you by your first name. It also helps that those cutting the men's hair are attractive women clad in dainty clothes. While no touching is allowed, flirting and conversation is offered in abundance. Many men leave with a fresh, clean hair cut and a desire to go home and see their wives.
Looms and Les Inspectors are the leaders in building inspectors in the city. If there is a problem with any part of the construction, foundation, building, or otherwise they will find it and cite it. A building can not be open for residence or business without their seal of acceptance. Of course for a fee they can approve a building on the owners word that it will be fixed soon, that way they are not liable for damages.
Four Finger Frank's:
A small shop of trinkets and gadgets of all kinds. Frank lost a finger, On a business venture.' Or so he claimed. His shop is known to have very inexpensive merchandise of decent quality but of questionable market. While he is searched by the constables often they find nothing to indicate anything is nothing but legit. He has been known to accept personal requests for items every now and then. Where he gets them no one knows.
Sitting right in the middle of a business park district this fancy art deco building has plenty of secrets. On the outside, and even the inside to those of the unknowledgeable, Sings is a place for enlightenment, peace, and tranquility. Quiet reading, conversations with beautiful ladies and attractive men, and physical relaxation are all on the menu. To the members who have access to the inside however know the truth. Any appetite of the flesh can be found within the walls of Sings Palace, and people pay handsomely for it.
Smoke and Mirrors:
An interesting little shop of trinkets and claimed magic. Most of the items that are sold are fanciful toys bought by travelers to entertain their children. Wands that produce smoke when you swing them, or bubbles perhaps. Coins that look real but bend and bounce. Behind the smoke and mirrors however items of more of a true nature can be purchased if the right questions are asked and the correct amount of coins are flashed.
Traveler's Last Stop:
This shop is on the outside of the cities gates. It houses a fair sized stable and fenced yard that always seems to have fresh green grass and plenty of bales of hay. The facility is large enough to support two full caravans of space. The Traveler's Last Stop is the last place most travelers, merchants, mercenaries, or anyone who care about their horses and animals stop before going on their journey. They house the best animal grooms and handlers in the region. You stop in before or after your travels and get your horses and animals checked fully to see if they have any notice of being lame or injuries. They are cleaned, fed, and brushed till their hair or fur shines. It is a costly endeavor but worth it as many a caravan was saved from having to put their animals down in mid travel by checking them at the Travelers Last Stop before they left.
Coffa's, pronounced coffae (long a sound) is a two story building where socialites and businessmen meet at all hours of the day to discuss business. A menu is given on sitting down that lists all manners of drink, few of which hold alcohol. Most are dark drinks of fanciful origins, which some claim come as far as the wastelands. Exotic teas, dark hot drinks called caf, and small light meals are the choices on the menu. Coffa's is also known for a very strong drink that has become very popular in the morning or to those who work the dark hours of the night that he has named coffee, a combination of a special blend of tea and a bean from his dark drinks.
Temp's Hired Service:
Temanparu, known as Temp, began this little business for hire a few years ago that was an immediate a hit among those wishing to impress their friends and neighbors with their parties and outings. Temp supplies friends and businessmen for hire to make you seem more important. Every up and coming merchant, sycophant and fop, or lower nobility wants their peers to think more of them, and of course wants to get higher placed and better peers. To do that, hire some from Temp's.
Maid to Order:
This shop has become very popular among the well to do bachelors in the city. While not a real store front business, none-the-less they have a shop where you can go and order a few rare things on request. You need someone to come and clean your home, business, or apartment? Regardless of the mess, they are paid to clean up after even the most unfortunate of messes. If you have a long day at work and you want to come home to dinner, but you're single, they will send someone to your home and prepare any meal you request in your home. They also hire out for parties, both personal and group. Anything you need done, order it.
Hanson's Yellow Carriage:
A definite oddity in the city can be seen when a bright yellow carriage is pulled down the streets by two midnight black horses. Anytime one needs to travel anywhere in the city, a message sent to Hanson's will have one of his nearly famous yellow carriages arrive at your doorstep, business, or where you currently are within ten minutes, unless it is a busy night. They charge by how many districts they must travel through, and charge a bit extra to go into seedy parts of town. Their price leads more of the aristocrtes into using them so anyone seen within one of the fabled yellow carriages is seen as someone of importance.
Ren's Refuse Removal:
Ren and his boys hire out to clean, move, or haul anything. No matter what it is, how dirty it maybe, or how long it's been dead they remove it and dispose of it quickly. This has actually led them to get a license and a contract with the city as it has helped with sickness and disease in the less popular parts of town. When the rains pour and the sewer water rises, they are called down to remove the rubbish and the dead bodies that clog the drainage pipes so they don't back up onto the streets.
Sental's Training Consultants:
An odd service to be sure but one that is taken with great pride and seriousness. The training consultants at Sental offer in home, or on site training in the use of martial weapons. This could be the common sword, axe, or mace but have been known to be more exotic. There are even a few trainers in a no weapon discipline that they call No-Hand, its true name is an unknown translation. They are hired to teach those willing to pay, the knowledge and skill to use weapons. They are not cheap but their trainers are world class and often are highly known. To be taught how to use a weapon by a master is prestige beyond anything. Very popular among the noble fops and sycophants.
Not everyone is literate. Not ever literate person likes to go into shops that are labeled with pictures and not words. To appease to the masses Sign Here was created. Every sign that adorns every business, every stall, every street, and every important place is done by the people Sign Here. They put both the name of the place as well as a picture describing the name. This has become a welcome and popular trend for travelers who do not know the area as it is far easier to find what they are looking for.
A well desired establishment when coming off a long road of traveling. Hot bathes, long messages, linen mending; this place is perfect for the weary traveler. Also a place known for holding meetings in privacy, the bath house is quiet, serene, and costly. They have pools of warmed with lit by scented wood and pools kept cold with blocks of ice kept under them in the basements. The masseuses are the best in the city, next to private ones, and many the well to do make the weekly trip to relax and unwind.
Wattle and Dobs
This is a small, but vigorous enterprise that ferries large amounts of mud and straw about to patch holes in walls. The two master craftsmen have over a dozen apprentices between them, and still do not have all the manpower they need to keep up with orders to thatch roofs, and repair the homes and walls of the lower class part of town. The work is hard, the pay is low, but no one looks twice at the W&D men. Plus, PCs can always pick up some spare coin slinging mud and plaster for the heavyset Wattle and sweaty-browed Dobs.
The most profitable forge in the area, the Five Brothers was founded by a duo of dwarven siblings. Initially the idea of the brothers Decker and Black, the demand for iron goods like hammers, nails, saws, pots, pans and the massive panoply of other goods a city demands saw the brothers recruiting other dwarves to assist them. Makita and Skil came from the east and brought their own abilities and the human raised DeWalt brought his own ingenuity to the forge. The name was changed to the Five Brothers since as most humans say...
Those dwarves, they all look alike to me...
The Peatman's people carry peat and moss from the local bogs for fuel and other purposes. On any given day, the peatman has a half dozen or so laborers that he keeps moving to and from the bogs and the drying racks. From there he has a couple of urchins who deliver peat (He, and a few of his larger laborers, go to collect anything owed).
The Linksman's Guild
Some years earlier, the Lord Mayor was convinced that the profusion of open flames in the streets could eventually result in a catastrophic fire. (Some critics note that he was a good friend of the head of the Linksman's Guild, who undoubtedly swayed his opinion.) Based on this fear, he passed a restriction against carrying open flames outdoors within the city. He allowed only one exception to this rule: The men of the Linksman Guild, who now have exclusive license to carry open flames within the streets. In the decades since, the guild has made good use of its monopoly.
The Linksman's Guild has its guildhouse in the Noble's Quarter, from where they dispatch linkbearers to all parts of the town, charging exorbitant fees for the service. The Guild's members wear bright red armbands as they travel through the streets, carrying torches for the nobles and wealthy merchants that must travel by night.
Since there is a substantial fine for those caught "risking fire" in the streets, anyone other than the Guild's membership that carries open flame outdoors is risking arrest: Those turning in such malefactors will generally receive a healthy reward.
Metheven The Talismonger
Metheven Corin is a seller of rare magical reagents, doo-dads, wotnots, components, tchotchkas and incedentals (and an accomplished con-artist and snake-oil man). The small wood and canvas stall which makes up his shop is cramed with racks of necklaces and pendants (dubious magical items) hundreds of botles of 'magical potions' and 'miracle cure-alls' (mostly colored vinegar) and dozens of crystals, skulls, daggers, and 'wands' (usually nothing but sticks with a lie bit of fairy dust sprinkled on it and a fake gem glued to the end) Metheven is not a wizard (he is actually a thief who talks verry fast) and sells his wares mosly to gullible 'average people' , but adventurers are usually to smart for Metheven's tricks. If one looks hard enough, somone could actualy find a magical item amongst all the junk, but you realy have to dig for it. Metheven is a man of average build and height, in his early thirties, with straw-colored hair that he keeps short, a goatee and brown eyes. He usually wears ostentatious wizardly robes decorated with golden astrological or alchemical symbols. He can usually be heared hawking his wares and their 'Amazing mystical properties' at the top of his voice
This specialised for-hire service deals with information of all sorts. It is used on a contract-by-contract basis when the client requests a summary of information on a specified topic. However, it does not guarantee as to the reliability of its information sources.
A service started by the same owner as Maid-to-Order, it has expanded quickly and now sells a range of custom-made dolls to children and ladies of the nobility as well as its iconic product- the Furries.
The Tale Collector
A store that specialises in selling stones that record images drawn in ink that tell of myths and grand tales. Products come in 4 price ranges: Discernable (more than often containing very botched up images, either due to badly transcripted images made by a careless scribe or a mage apprentice who cast the recording spell in a somewhat improper way), Normal, Premium and Exquisite. Then of course there're the Classics and the Choice Arrivals that command high prices.
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? Responses (20)
What turned out to be a valiant effort by my part fizzled with the advent of a bigger project. I am releasing this to the public so I don't forget about it.
This is a great reference! Love random shops, and some of these are pretty nifty! Like Ben's Barber Box.
One question- what exactly is unique and/or rare, about Frank's knick-knacks and the Cartwrights and some others? Other than that nit-pick, fun stuff Mourn!
triple A :D
I changed the name per your request... any other ideas?
How about 'Shops-O'-Plenty' or something?
I thought Rare and Unique was the idea you were going for. These are all great, just not all unique or rare. In other words, you can certainly find Cartwrights and knick-knack shops in most decent sized towns and cities.
Just semantics Mourn, the scroll is great!!
That was the intent it just didn't work out. Besides the cartwrights was a play on AAA, you know Triple A... for your car care?
5/5 I like this a lot.
Aah, A nice compendium of your average businesses. Good for someone trying to fill out a city with your average shops(Which, funnily enough, is exactly what i'm in the process of doing, so thank you!)
Add them, its a scroll. Make it a one stop shopping network.
This needs to be converted over into a codex of stubs someday.
Hey people, this thread needs 9 more entries to reach 30, its original goal. Can we help out?
Forgot to vote. :)
These will all become establishment stubs linked together eventually.
A few more people?
5 more people... and its a proper 30 sub.
A great utility sub. Just posted an addition- a fantasy take on the Internet, really.
3 more and it's a 30!
Thanks for the additions moon. Another sub of mine I threw on the back burner and forgot about.
1 more coming actually. I actually ran across this like 2 yrs ago and somehow missed adding it to my Scroll Additions folder that I've been building up so that I can write snippets for the Citadel when I'm busy with life and can't work on more lengthy subs that I so enjoy. Error rectified now! I was brought back to this particular sub when I was writing up my 30 Symbols. Must've been fate. :)
2 more to a 30!