Love it or hate it, shopping is an essential part of every tabletop gaming experience. Not only do shops give players the opportunity to lighten their pouches in exchange for cool and unique items, but it’s also an often overlooked opportunity for characters to explore their interests. Unique shops are full of roleplaying possibilities for both you and your players. Besides, what else are players supposed to do with all those fantasy fun-bucks they just found on a hobgoblin? Save it for the party’s retirement fund? Of course not!
The ideas below can be inserted directly into your game or be used as a brainstorming spark to help you create some of your own. If you’d like to see more premade shops, websites like Dungeon Master’s Guild and DriveThru RPG are great places to look for all kinds of homebrewed content. Alternatively, if you’re the type who enjoys homebrewing as much as possible, you can use a site like World Anvil to keep all your content easily accessible and in one place.
Let’s get those dice rolling and start roleplaying!
Nary-a-Potter: Need pots, bowls, and ceramics imbued with minor magical properties? This is the place for you! Turn water into ale, snag a cup that keeps forgotten tea hot, or simply buy a bowl or two. The grizzled old Human wizard has a peculiar scar, but his snow-white owl seems friendly enough.
Snowpuff’s: Magical iced treats shaped to look like snowmen that melt in your mouth, but not in your pouch! Choose from a wide variety of flavors and colors. With Winter’s Embrace around the corner, Snowpuff’s offers heart-shaped treats to share with your special some-puff. The blue Tiefling lass who runs the shop is always giddy and full of puns!
Ol’ Boozy’s Alewerks: Ale and brewing supplies from around the world! Famous for seasonal tastings and unique flavors. New this season is a romantic ale aptly named Brew Love that features hints of chocolate and wine. While many customers swear they’ve met Ol’ Boozy himself, all eyewitness accounts conflict and no one knows what he actually looks like or how he’s able to obtain so much ale!
Bottom’s Button Bonnets: Hats made to protect delicate skin from the sun. Each Button Bonnet has a handcrafted button attached to it, which is said to bring the wearer luck. Love button charms are particularly popular during mid-winter. This shop is run by a crafty Halfling woman who is often seen chasing after her grandchildren.
Pinky’s Party Punch: Fizzy drinks galore sold in cute, heart-shaped vials. You never know what flavor you just purchased as each drink is the same hue of bubblegum pink. For a little extra, you may purchase a “Love Potion” that tastes like strawberries but removes the element of surprise. A female Gnome with bright pink hair bursts into giggle fits each time a customer gets a drink they didn’t like. No returns or exchanges!
Fur-Real?!: Luxurious leathers and furs for the home and the traveler who appreciates comfort. Owned and operated by a pair of Tabaxi twins. Just don’t ask how they source their materials.
Bombs Away!: Soaps, shampoos, and everything an adventurer needs to look and smell their best! Their namesake product, the Soaking Bomb, fizzes when added to water and fills your cleaning vessel with bright colors, lush fragrances, and soaks all those aches away. A soft-spoken Furbolg druid owns the shop and grows most of the ingredients himself.
Fortune’s Fool: Purchase Mystery Crates of equipment and see what’s inside! Each crate is guaranteed to contain at least one minor magical item. Those feeling lucky can spring for the Legendary Crate, guaranteed to hold at least one enchanted piece of equipment! A spunky Water Genasi woman runs the store alongside her quiet Half-Orc husband.
Build-a-Beast: Go home with a squishy, cuddly version of the world’s more ferocious beasts! Just in time for Winter’s Embrace, the Love Dryad plush is here to charm you. Don’t forget to sing her a little song as you make your purchase! The owner and creator of these plush creatures is a mystery, but the shop is always manned by a different, tired-looking adolescent.
Valtorina’s Secret: This exclusive cafe only serves female clientele. Clients are treated to an exquisite meal and refined conversation with their staff. Guests will feel as if they have been whisked off to a dreamland where they’re the Queen! The Elven proprietress’ attire suggests that this odd business is quite profitable. Make a reservation as soon as possible!
Brittany Lindstrom is a mixed media illustrator out of ye olde Boise, Idaho. Under the banner of Spice & Rose, Lindstrom is oftentimes left dreaming of deep dungeon dives while chained to her studio. On the rare occasion that she's let out, you can find her presenting panels on art and Artist Alley at conventions all around the Intermountain West. She has a deep love for playing randomized characters.