The Broken Cask by Derek A. Kamal is a solo innkeeping roleplaying game. You create an inn, its innkeeper, hire staff, upgrade rooms, send heroes or mercenaries on adventures, earn gold and hopefully if you want have your inn become legendary.
The book is laid out well and the rules are easy to follow. Its a fun, rules light and relaxing game. However if you are looking for something with lots of combat this isn’t it. Combat is solved by either a success or failure of one roll like everything else in the game. The game uses tables for everything, which means you will be flipping pages a lot. I added tabs to make it easier to get to the tables. One thing I noticed was that the story thread table is missing from the current book. However you can go to the Shoreless Skies Publishing website and download it, as well as get some rules clarifications and the Innkeeper log for free.
The game is played in sessions. At the start of each session you roll to determine the season, weather, mood, story thread and behind the scenes event. Once that is done you can then do upgrades, train staff, go to the market, send adventurers on a quest, do events at the inn like fulfill orders, clean, garden, etc. I played 2 or 3 sessions throughout my first day and a session or two each of the other times I played; for a total of 6 sessions. There is no real end to the game so you can play as many sessions as you’d like. I played until my inn had reached legendary status, had all the upgrades and felt like quite an established inn. I did mine in a somewhat journaling style. However I completely forgot to include the story thread in all my sessions. Hopefully in the next playthrough I will remember.
I do think that this game could be used to create an inn that you can then include in a larger role playing game. It could be an inn that your players will visit frequently or an inn they pass through for a quest, etc. If I find the right game I plan on doing that with either the inn I created with this playthrough or a future playthrough or maybe even create an inn specifically for the game.
Below is a “newspaper article” about the inn I created.
Mirstone no longer unknown, Thanks to Local Inn
By Polly Bellgrew
The Blue Gargoyle Inn is the place to be when visiting Mirstone or even if you’re a local. Yes, Mirstone is in the middle of nowhere and most people up until recently hadn’t heard of it but the Blue Gargoyle Inn has made it into quite the popular place thanks to its innkeeper, Calista of the Isles. She is a retired adventurer who inherited the place from her uncle and has really given the place life.
Her uncle had let the place deteriorate and eventually just gave up on it. But when Calista inherited the inn she immediately started fixing it up and over time upgraded it. The inn has luxurious rooms, feasting halls, a fancy kitchen, its own brewery and armory. She even added stables so the horses of those passing through or staying at the inn could be taken care of. The main staff even have excellent quarters.
There is also a beautiful living garden. Guests are welcomed to sit and enjoy the beauty as long as they are respectful. Besides beautiful flowers and plants they also grow some of their own vegetables to use for their dishes. Whatever they don’t grow they purchase from local farmers.
Calista loves creatives and is constantly hosting events like poetry night, open mic night, concerts and conventions. Most local festivals are now hosted at the inn.
Calista loves to help the locals as well. The inn has a large trader’s stand which helps the locals sell their goods and they even host job fairs to help the folks of Mirstone and nearby towns find jobs.
Many people travel from afar to enjoy the meals made by their cook Kelfi Goldbrow. His creamy butternut squash soup and the roast duck are spectacular. Though the best dish is the corn pierogies with quail. I don’t know how he takes a simple dish and makes it so amazing.
They also go there for the drinks created by their brewer Ezri the Swift. His most famous creation is “The Winston”. A drink made of wild honey mead steeped in over ripe cherries. Another famous drink of his is “The Strange Adventurer” named after a local girl who was becoming quite the adventurer and hanging out with all manner of strange folk. It has a sweet and a slightly spicy taste. No one but Ezri knows how this one is made.
So if you are in the area or even if you aren’t, stop by the inn, you won’t regret it. You will have good drinks, good food and great company. Oh and remember to give Fang the ocelot a few head scritches while you are there. Don’t worry, he doesn’t bite.