Taverns in DnD are more than just a place to go for drinks. It’s where characters meet, kickstart their adventures, and go back to after a long day of hard work. So, how can you make taverns more memorable and welcome? Here are some tips to create great tavern names!
1. Use Your World’s Themes in Your DnD Tavern Names
Let’s be honest, we all judge books by their covers—and taverns by their names. Good tavern names will set expectations for your players, which you can then keep or break with a twist! So, how can you achieve that? Well, the first step is to consider your world’s mood and themes. After all, “The Bloody Maw” gives off a very different impression than “Sunshine Inn”, right? So, take a look at your setting and think about which themes you want to reinforce.
Take this opportunity to dig in your novel or DnD campaign themes! Do you want to make it clear to your players or readers that this is a dangerous town? “The Midnight Blade” might be a good fit! You can also use names to set up surprising plot twists. For example, “The Rainbow Flower Inn” might sound cute, but it’s secretly the base of operations of a group of vampires that feast on foreigners!
2. Include Worldbuilding Elements in your DnD Taverns
Does your world have unique species? Are there any names or titles you want your players to know? Using them in a tavern name is a great way to make it feel more connected to the world. For example, if your players see “The Prince’s Crown Inn” and five sessions after that meet the prince, they’ll think you’re a genius who was already planning this meeting since the beginning of the campaign. And all it took was adding a hint in a name!
This is foreshadowing, and you can take this as far as you want! Is your campaign about the end of the world? Well then, why not have the “World’s End Inn”? The great thing about foreshadowing in a campaign is that if you decide to drop something you foreshadowed, your players won’t notice unless it’s really obvious. So go crazy throwing hints at them and see what catches on!
3. Use a Tavern Name Generator
If you’re out of ideas, using a name generator can help a ton! Of course, the names a generator creates won’t be tailored for your world specifically—but using it as inspiration will already be useful! So, for example, the generator might create “The Jealous Dragon Inn”, but maybe your world doesn’t have dragons. Well, it’s as easy as replacing “dragon” for an animal in your world.
And we even made a tavern name generator on World Anvil just for you! So check it out—I promise not all names are ridiculous!
Check out the video here:
Create a free Gamemaster o Writer account to start writing your tavern—and make sure to keep these tips in mind! We’re currently running the Tavern Challenge, so use this opportunity to take your tavern-making skills to the next level!
Who’s your favorite tavern map cartographer? Let us know in the comments! We’re running the Tavern Challenge this month with Twisted Taverns, so make sure to check them out too!
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