“You all meet in a tavern…” is an opening as old as role-playing games themselves. Even after decades of evolution in playing styles, settings and even formats, Ye Good Olde Inn still is the number one meeting place and quest hub. If you think about it more closely it actually makes sense: Lots of different folks coming together, being in a talkative mood either because they are naturally chatty or because they have been quaffing just one ale too much. An ideal atmosphere for sharing information and lending a helping hand. Where else can you speak so openly about all of your troubles to total strangers? Where else are you going to make hasty promises based on alcohol fuelled solidarity and overconfidence? Some might say it is a rather cheap hook, some might wish for a more personal character motivation and some might want to draw more attention to their elaborate backgrounds. Others might just create an excellent game about it, a game like Tavern Crawler.
In May 2021, the winner of a small competition for self-created text adventures was voted. The PunyJam participants had the task of starting the game in a room called Broom Closet. The description of the room was also precisely specified. The rest of the game was left to the imagination and creativity of the author. This resulted in 8 different text adventures which were evaluated by a jury. The decision was very close. The difference between first place and second place was only a tenth of a point.
Rosalita is being blackmailed, having embezzled some money from her own charity. Two days later, the aging radio station owner and show host is murdered in her own office. Her secretary saw the murderer: a very likely disguised man with a stubble. The investigation team already sweeped the place. Now it's up to the player to interview the four main suspects – the beneficiaries named in the victim's will, i.e. her sister (a flamboyant wannabe show star), her ex-husband (also her former colleague who went to the competition recently), her business partner and the secretary.