Your party has arrived, on their way to something important, to a bazaar town, where a market fair is underway. Your part is to come up with about a dozen tradesmen and dealers and beggars and thieves and watchmen and soldiers and aristocrats and such like. The PCs need to pick up supplies, but instead of just going through the lists in the book, you play it out. What happens? Entirely up to your and your players.
Think of what happens when you go shopping, all the people you interact with, the things you see. Near accidents on the road, and attempts at shop lifting at the grocery. Unexpected meeting and be accosted by a friendly dog. Now add in the shady type selling baby kobolds, without a license. The brownie soliciting subscriptions to the local weekly. The mountebank and his shill, and the ogre mage hiding as a roustabout in his crew.
So here now are a few potential encounters. Stats etc. are all up to you.
Young aristocrat couple and their chaperon looking at amulets and charms (most fake, But one has the effect of drenching the wearer in wine from nowhere whenever they exclaim, “By golly!” Guess who says “By Golly!” a lot?
A man with baby kobolds to sell. Yes, there are uses for baby kobolds. No, not all of them are pleasant to consider. Yes, kobolds may be bought and sold for legitimate purposes. No, his customers are not interested in legitimate purposes. Yes, he does have a supplier.
A clerk looking for spices for a particular client. Said client wants to impress a potential business partner.
A game of three card monte, only it’s the cards who decide where the right card is. And they’ve been known to change their minds on occasion.
The rest is up to you, just remember the encounters you’ve had in real life, and the encounters in stories you’ve seen, and you’ll be good to go.
There is one caveat however, keep combat to a minimum. This is supposed to be a break from the usual session. Besides, the locals want things kept peaceful at their casbah, so whoever starts a brawl is apt to end up in a lot of trouble. Starting fires is especially frowned upon.
Remember above all that you don’t have to roll the dice to play an RPG.
Alan Kellogg. I am a blogger and a gamer, and I opine on various subjects and topics. I live in San Diego CA, have been gaming since 1964 (board games) and 1975 (RPGs). Have credits in Dangerous Journeys: Mythus and have helped out with a few other projects (Charlemagne’s Paladins for TSR for instance). Currently working on a revision of Mythus for possible publication.