Bars have been around almost as long as civilization itself, and they have taken many forms. One variant, the nightclub, is a comparatively recent innovation. Bars and pubs offer alcoholic beverages and a place to socialize, but often not much else. Nightclubs, on the other hand, typically offer somewhat sturdier fare, as well as dancing and live music or comedy acts. Even so, there are exceptions; some bars do offer live entertainment, and some nightclubs do not.
Rural taverns encompass one or two rooms and do not offer a wide variety of beverages, while upscale urban nightclubs often occupy several floors of downtown real estate, serve the rarest vintages, and treat guests to dazzling floor shows or performances by famous names in entertainment. To some, the Roaring ’20s represent the Golden Age of nightclub success and glamour in the United States, but this style of business survives today, around the world. American nightclubs enjoyed a resurgence in the I 970s, though the traditional “dinner and a show” has given way to other consumer preferences. Nightclubs located in former American “sin capitals,” like Atlantic City and Las Vegas, used to showcase chorus lines of scantily clad dancers. Even these establishments have had to change their line-ups, and many now offer more family-oriented entertainment. Some are quite elaborate and promise to immerse visitors in another world, with many themes to choose from (ancient, futuristic, and haunted being just a few examples).
Don’t Miss …
The Lucky Sevens occupies half a city block in an economically prosperous urban area. Its parking lot accommodates 30 cars, and valet services ensures that no customer turns away, being discouraged by parking. The main entrance is lit by an art-deco sign reminiscent of the club’s heydays in the 1920s, and opens onto a lobby with a coatcheck and greeter’s station. An arched doorway beckons patrons into the club proper, where they may sit at the bar or choose a table near the dance floor. On Friday and Saturday evenings, the stage near the dance floor is used for concerts or comedy acts. Many new and vintage alcoholic beverages (useful for sterilizing wounds, in an emergency) can be found behind the bar and in the club’s kitchen, along with minor cooking utensils such as chef’s knives and iron pans. Several emergency exits are discretely located about the main room. The manager’s office sits at the rear of the building, next to the kitchen and storeroom. The kitchen service entrance permits staff to bring in supplies and escort unruly customers out of the building without disturbing patrons or interrupting a show. Depending upon the setting, the club’s clientele may range from honest citizens to some of the shadiest figures in organized crime.
Things to See
+ Wooden chairs and tables
+ Padded barstools
+ Glassware (mugs, coolers, highballs, shot glasses, wine glasses, margarita glasses, martini glasses, champagne glasses)
+ Bar towels
+ Bottles of alcohol in various heights and flavors (amber or clear: brandy, cognac, rum; ambers or browns: ale, beer, bourbon, scotch, whiskey; straw or clear: champagne, gin, tequila, vermouth; pink, reds, or straw: wine; clear vodka; red grenadine; clear or fruit-colored cordials or schnapps; etc.)
+ Small glass bowls of peanuts and pretzels
+ Smooth tablecloths in white or off-white
+ Musical instruments (piano, drums, cymbals, tambourine, trumpet, clarinet, guitar, cello, etc.)
+ Microphone on a stand
+ For additional ideas, see the “Restaurant” entry
People to Meet
Bar/club owners and employees have 2D in each attribute, with some having business of 2D+2 and know-how: mixing drinks of 2D+2 to 3D+1. Many bars and nightclubs hire security guards, which are usually called “bouncers.” For these individuals, use the attributes and skills of the chug or security guard.
Bartender: Reflexes 2D, brawling 2D+1, Coordination 2D, sleight of hand 2D+1, Physique 2D, lifting 2D+2, Knowledge 2D+1, business 2D+2, scholar: armchair psychology 2D+2, Perception 2D+1, know-how: mixed drinks 3D, streetwise 2D+2, Presence 2D+1, charm 3D, con 3D, willpower 2D+2. Move: 10. Strength Damage: 1D. Body Points: 10. Wound levels: 2.
Things to Do
+ Mr. Edward Lindy, a wealthy playboy, owns the upscale nightclub Lucky Sevens, secretly named for a daring group of seven men (including Mr. Lindy, then known as “Lucky” Lindy) that pulled off che last daylight bank-robbery in the city’s history. Mr. Lindy’s nightclub books some of the best musical and vocal talent available, and it is a favorite nightspot for local mob figures. It is also a place to find young bravos seeking employment, or desperate people willing to do almost anything to improve their lot in life.
While the players’ characters visit the club, whether for a specific reason or simply to enjoy some well-deserved rest, someone tries to assassinate a noted crime boss – in the presence of the characters. Should the characters foil the attempt, the grateful mob boss lavishes praise and gifts on his benefactor. Whether accepted or not, these gifts come with a price, and the player’s character soon receives a letter from a “dear and respected uncle” requesting an unwholesome-sounding favor. Failure to carry out the instructions in the letter leads to a string of suspicious accidents that plague the characters’ family and friends. The only way to bring an end to this string of bad luck is to put the mob boss and his henchmen behind bars. Game Masters can throw in a few supernatural practitioners or super- science artifacts to increase the challenge or add unexpected plot twists.