Bed and Breakfast
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You feel blessed to discover such a cozy little spot on such short notice; the landlady is a kindly old widow, and the cup of tea she gave you is just the thing to warm your hands after wandering in out of the storm. The fact that she practices taxidermy is slightly odd, but she is very good at it; the stuffed parrot in the cage by the fireplace looks almost alive. You'll have to ask her how old it is when she brings you the sugar for your tea—almond tea is delicious, but she's made it a little bitter…

Basic Information

A Bed and Breakfast (or B&B), as the name suggests, is a small hotel or rooming house that offers room for the night, as well as breakfast, but usually does not offer other meals. They are most often found in converted homes, offering 10 or fewer separate rooms for commercial use, and capitalizing on 'coziness,' antique furnishings, and a personal or local touch (home-cooked meals, intimate knowledge of the area) to attract clientele. Stereotypically, a B&B is often portrayed as a converted, old-fashioned colonial or Victorian home with many rooms, secret passages, and perhaps rumors of ghosts.

A B&B may be operated by the primary owners, or could be operated by a hired staff. The managers/cooks/housekeepers often live either in the B&B itself or in a smaller structure attached or adjacent to the main building, for convenience's sake.

Bed and Breakfasts in different countries tend to have peculiarities, minor or major, that depend on how the local culture has adapted them to suit their needs; these include whether B&Bs are considered upscale as opposed to budget, what kind of person is likely to run them, and what amenities they offer beyond sleeping quarters and breakfast. Regardless, guests are often unwelcome in their quarters during the day and are expected to leave after the and not return until it is time for the bed.

B&B in the UK is a staple topic for working and lower middle class comedians. Traditionally the accomodation in question will have a multitude of bizarre rules and specifications for how things "must be done" that would raise the eyebrows of the drillmaster of a recruit training depot. These rules will be enforced by a shrill harridian of a landlady who is entirely accustomed to bullying her guests.

Sadly, it seems that the reason that this is regarded as funny is because the comedian's routines are only slightly exaggerated from real life…

More depressingly, a lot of the UK's poorest are housed in B&B accomodation whilst they await housing becoming available … which can be very hard on the workless as they are turfed out after breakfast and left to walk the streets until they are allowed back in at night. This can also mean that they have no access to cooking facilities and so are forced to spend more on food in proportion to their income than they otherwise might.

Sources

Game and Story Use

  • A Bed and Breakfast can simply be a homey place to stay-or the cover for a player's secret lair.
  • Because they are often situated in old homes with many rooms, B&Bs are great sites for hauntings.
  • The owners of a B&B could be a source for information-on former tenants, local events, or both.
  • Creepy owners and housekeepers can serve to create atmosphere.
    • In addition to behaving oddly, the owners of a B&B could actually BE creepy; they could be your basic psychotic serial killers, or they could be supernatural creatures that prey on their victims.
  • The crappy British seaside B&B is difficult to transplant to most other places - not many other people would put up with such poor service - but feel free to bring it in in any UK campaign prior to the mid 80s. Actually there may be some still going out there…
  • In the pre-modern period - including such parts of the world as are still pre-modern - this is likely to be a fairly common arrangement anywhere small or remote enough not to possess an inn or similar professional operation.
  • Being B&B housed is an amusing, if cruel, handicap to inflict on the player who forgets to spend any points on giving his character some financial bottom.
  • The strange rules of a B&B might be there for a very good reason: not offending fairies or some strange geas, maintaining important fung shui, or even just rat's-nest wiring that arcs or shorts if a piece of metal is in the wrong spot.
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