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Durnan's Guide to Tavernkeeping
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Welcome to the DM's Day sale! From now through March 14th, this title has been marked down by up to 40%! For more values, visit our DM's Day sale page.


The famous proprietor of the Yawning Portal tavern has declared happy hour on his years of business knowledge! Durnan’s Guide to Tavernkeeping expands on the rules in the Dungeon Master’s Guide and chapter 2 of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist to provide gamers with everything they need to create and manage a fantasy tavern in the world of DUNGEONS & DRAGONS! 

Inside you'll find:

  • Expanded rules for managing your own tavern, including tavern upgrades, random events, and a large selection of unlockable downtime activities.
  • A full-color map of Trollskull Manor, the player-managed tavern earned during Waterdeep: Dragon Heist.
  • Dozens of expansive randomized tables for constructing taverns on-the-fly, including quest hooks, tavern features, NPCs, and random tavern events.
  • A unique instant tavern brawl generator!   
  • Hilarious dice games, music playlists, and delicious recipes for you to cook for your friends, bringing the ambience of a fantasy tavern to your gaming table.  
  • Two new subclasses: the College of Revelry for bards and the Brewing Domain for clerics. 
  • Two new backgrounds: Tavern Worker and Tavern Regular
  • Six new tavern-themed monsters, ranging from the Brass Bartender to the ghostly Buzzkill
  • Printable bottle labels for your own brands of fantasy ale, wine, and spirits.

NOTE: Includes full-color and printer-friendly versions. 

Durnan's Guide to Tavernkeeping is brought to you by the Guild Adepts: Alan Patrick, Ashley WarrenCindy MooreGreg Marks, Lysa ChenM.T. BlackTravis Woodall, and Will Doyle.

This product is a DMs Guild Adepts adventure supplement! The Dungeon Masters Guild Adept program brings highly talented individuals together for creative development. Guild Adept products are identified with the golden ampersand and logo.

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Reviews (11)
Discussions (18)
Customer avatar
Joshua G January 25, 2021 7:24 pm UTC
God I want this in physical form (softback or hard back) so bad!
Customer avatar
Greg K December 17, 2019 10:09 pm UTC
is there any way to +/- the Event roll.. meaning is there any actions (or stats, like Chrisma, or anything) that allows for the PC's to + or - to the Event roll?
Customer avatar
Scried R December 02, 2019 2:04 am UTC
I converted this to fantasygrounds, let me know if you want to distribute it.
Customer avatar
CHRISTOPHER B August 21, 2020 2:28 am UTC
That would be awesome if they did that.
Customer avatar
Eric S July 29, 2019 10:55 pm UTC
This is awesome! Though I would suggest in the next edit, to have an example creation and running of the tavern for advanced rules so we can see really how it works. I was a little confused until Will's response to Stephen with an example. I really dig this ruleset!
Customer avatar
Scott M May 27, 2019 10:45 pm UTC
I see this product is listed as AL legal in the Content Catalog, but have a question: are the rules included specifically for upgrading Trollskull Alley Tavern from W:DH, or are the are there AL-approved rules for acquiring other taverns/businesses and running them included here?
Customer avatar
Guillaume F April 06, 2019 10:34 am UTC
Are the Alewife & Yestling AL legal for Conjure Woodland Beings?
Customer avatar
Gregory M April 23, 2019 12:40 pm UTC
Sadly no
Customer avatar
Thomas M August 18, 2019 3:14 am UTC
They are. The only thing not AL-legal are the subclasses.
Customer avatar
Stephen G December 25, 2018 10:37 pm UTC
I don’t understand how the downtime activities work.
For simplicity’s sake, I have a table of 5 players with a new Trollskull Tavern and they want to run a Feast.

How much downtime is the maximum a player can spend on this? (10?)

If a player spends five Downtime Days, are they spending 5 gold also?

At five players spending five Downtime Days each, they’ve pooled together 50 Gold for a 50 Downtime Day feast, and a +100 modifier to the business roll?

Do they still spend lifestyle costs?
Customer avatar
Will D January 10, 2019 11:47 am UTC
Hey Stephen. Sorry for the delayed response!

Note this section under "Downtime Rules" - "Players must choose to invest their downtime as a group i.e. characters can’t split up and spend downtime on separate activities simultaneously."

You make a business results roll every tenday, with a +1 for every day of downtime invested. So we could choose to spend three DT on a Feast (+6 to the roll, cost 3 gp), two DT on Marketing (+4 to the roll, cost 2d3 gp), one DT to source Rare Materials for the larder (cost 1 gp), and four DT on Joining the Staff (40% chance of gaining Free Security prior to the Tavern Events roll). Total cost 4 + 2d3 gp, 10 DT, +10 bonus to the business results roll.

Hope that helps!
Customer avatar
Will D January 10, 2019 12:43 pm UTC
(Sorry - that should be +15 to the roll, or +19 if we spend the rare ingredients on the feast)
Customer avatar
Brent F November 03, 2018 2:39 pm UTC
Can we get a P.O.D. of this Please....!!!!
Customer avatar
Will D November 17, 2018 12:47 am UTC
We would love to make this so, and we're going to be looking into it!
Customer avatar
Eric S July 30, 2019 4:10 am UTC
id love that!
Customer avatar
Krzysztof U October 28, 2018 5:50 pm UTC
I've run the numbers on Upgrades, Tavern Events Table and Business Results table (I've had too much time this weekend). Consider the following a feedback on economics presented (warning, PLAYERS SHOULD NOT read what I'm about to say).


The table is absolutely awesome narratively, and I had a lot of fun reading through it. But after putting the events in the spreadsheet and calculating how bad or how good the results are on average I made an a few discoveries...

Costs of preventative investments are never worth it - except extra service, which is always worth it. Seriously. Extra security costs 20gp and prevents on average 3,195 gp of loss. Insurance costs 10gp and prevents 4,54 gp of loss. Maintenance? Costs 10gp, prevents on average 2,505 gp worth of damage. And extra service is worth it only because of the +10 bonus to checks, which is worth more than 10 gp on every tavern level except wretched.

Damages and other losses of...See more
Customer avatar
Will D October 29, 2018 3:28 pm UTC
Wow, many thanks for putting so much effort into this analysis! Your feedback is certainly appreciated and I'll definitely take it into account for future updates. If you do make any balance adjustments yourself, I'd be keen to read them (

I'd like to address your points, just so you know the intent of the rules.

- Preventative investments are supposed to be a bit chancy i.e. it's possible to overspend on security at lower levels. A fully outfitted tavern ticking along with full downtime activities (ale, spirits, feasts, etc) should be able to afford them and still turn a profit, but at lower levels you'll be shooting yourself in the foot laying down so much investment.
- You make a valid point about damages. I'm wary about a single damaging event wiping out a beginner-tavern, but there's definitely room for tweaking here.
- A tavern needs players to invest downtime to turn a profit. Without management, it will on average lose money. This is intentional....See more
Customer avatar
Krzysztof U October 29, 2018 7:22 pm UTC
Since the discussion here might be useful for DMs using your rules in their games, let me re-adress your points.

"Preventative investments are supposed to be a bit chancy [...] A fully outfitted tavern [...] should be able to afford them and still turn a profit."
Then what's the point? Why would Players buy them? Here, let me demonstrate:
"Random Rvents are supposed to be chancy and a fully outfitted tavern should be able to withstand them and still turn a profit."
If both statements are true (and I'd argue they are) then we have a gimmick. A false choice that changes nothing. Players buying your investments still rely on chance a LOT, but this time it's not to avoid loss, but to roll an event preventable by their investment in order to justify paying up front for potentially useless stuff. So nothing changed, except that they lose more money buying those investments. Money they could spend in more interesting ways than doing preventive meintenance....See more
Customer avatar
M.T. B November 04, 2018 6:08 am UTC
Hi Skrzynek,

I'm another one of the authors who worked on this book and some of those tables in particular. Thanks for your input, and we do appreciate people interacting with us on these matters.

A couple of points:

1. With regards to insurance, I think you'll find that's pretty much how things work in the real world! By your calculations, the insurance company is paying out 4.54 gp in claims for every 10 gp in premiums paid. To get technical, this means the "loss ratio" for the insurance company is at least 45%. If we assume 5% admin costs (which is cheap), that puts the loss ratio at 50%. For modern property insurance, loss ratios are typically between 40% and 60%. Now, maybe we should reflect real life less to make it more gameable, but I'm not sure if pushing up the cost of disasters is the way to go.

2. With regards to a catastrophic fire, in real life, the chances of having some sort of fire in your place are pretty tiny, something like 1 in...See more
Customer avatar
M.T. B November 04, 2018 11:26 pm UTC
Just to add some further context, as a game designer I want to give the players interesting decisions to make. If a decision becomes a "no-brainer" then that is not a fun or interesting decision to make.

With regards to insurance, this means we want the disasters to be costly enough and frequent enough that it becomes a toss-up whether you get insurance or not. If average claims equals average premiums, then insurance becomes a no-brainer IMO. So I want to generate enough little disasters to put you in two minds about it. No doubt some more tinkering is needed, and I look forward to more feedback!
Customer avatar
David M October 25, 2018 6:43 pm UTC
Great work! I wish this could be available for POD. I would likely buy a copy for my players and another to keep myself.
Customer avatar
Will D October 26, 2018 9:29 am UTC
We would love this to be POD too. If it continues to sell well, we'll submit it for approval.
Customer avatar
Jonathan L October 24, 2018 2:23 am UTC
How come the cleric Brewing domain only grants one bonus spell at 5th level (create food and water)? Is that on purpose or a mistake?
Customer avatar
Jonathan L October 24, 2018 6:11 am UTC
The College of Revelry Bard's "Powerful Magic" feature includes the friends cantrip on its list of spells that can be affected. However, I would just like to point out that friends does not involve any saving throws to resist its effects, so there's actually not much point in including it in the list.
Customer avatar
Will D October 24, 2018 9:42 am UTC
Thanks Jonathan. We'll be looking to fix these in the next update.
Customer avatar
Jonathan L November 11, 2018 6:04 am UTC
Cool. Thanks!
Customer avatar
Alexander Y October 18, 2018 7:42 pm UTC
Lot of great stuff in here, great resource for DM's looking to bring taverns to life. I don't have Waterdeep Heist, so I cannot comment on that, but the general additions for both DMs and players is (imo) worth the pricetag.
Customer avatar
Will D October 24, 2018 9:42 am UTC
Thanks, Alexander!
Customer avatar
Ismail A October 17, 2018 4:27 pm UTC
The content seems really cool and I think it will be a great addition to making Trollskull Alley feel like something the players are invested in owning. I saw that this is now in the DDAL Content Catalogue, are all the rules in here now considered to be AL legal?
Customer avatar
Gregory M October 17, 2018 8:19 pm UTC
All the DM facing content is AL legal. All the player facing content is not AL legal (except the backgrounds, which PCs can use).
Customer avatar
Ismail A October 18, 2018 10:53 am UTC
Thanks for clarifying. Chapter 1 looks great and I’m sure my group will be excited for Sim Tavern Ownership.
Customer avatar
Karl A October 15, 2018 9:01 am UTC
The map of trollskull manor has grass all around it, while the actual manor is in the middle of the city, with its north side on a major street. Is this difference intentional, or an oversight?
Customer avatar
Loren S October 14, 2018 11:41 pm UTC
While the product overall seems useful (and I have purchased), I also am disappointed with WotC policy regarding the maps that have been released on the DM's Guild. Several others have published excellent maps (both as stand alone, or in the case of Valeur RPG, as part of DM resources for each chapter of the adventure), only to be removed. I'd love for clarity on WotC policy regarding this, as there are plenty of other maps (for instance, Castle Ravenloft maps, or many regional maps - even a Waterdeep city map) that are available on the Guild. Without clarity, this feels very heavy handed, inconsistent, and like a cynical money-grabbing move by the company.
Customer avatar
Daniel J October 14, 2018 9:50 pm UTC
It is an absolute travesty that DMsGuild is alright with Guild Adepts recoloring the terrible maps in Dragon Heist, yet if anyone else in the community puts in time and effort to upgrading Dragon Heist’s black & white maps, they get removed. Hypocritical and inconsistent. Wizards of the Coast would go a long way toward making up for their map mistake by releasing the recolored Trollskull Manor map for free here.
Customer avatar
Jason P October 18, 2018 4:35 pm UTC
Don't you think there's a legal reason for this?
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on October 12, 2018.