Fighting Pub
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Basic Information

A fighting pub is a public house or bar in which the assembled company attend with the acceptance - or even the anticipation - that at least one bar brawl will break out during the course of the evening.

At the most mundane, these are simply drinking dens with a bad atmosphere and a violent clientele - at worst they are places where people actively meet to fight. Very often they exist with at least the tacit consent of local law enforcement prepared to ignore "consensual violence" at a given venue as long as no-one dies on the premises and the trouble doesn't spread far from the doors.

Such establishments are usually identified by a lack of breakable objects (tables are bolted down, chairs are replaced by fixed stools and benches and any television has a cage across the front), an almost complete lack of women, a limited range of drinks and little in the way of entertainment. That said, the clientele may be a lot more diverse than the average biker bar (or other frequent candidates for the role of bad guy bar) - in some cases the brawlers don't care who they fight.

Drawing a weapon in one of these places is considered bad manners and will likely make you a target for pretty much everyone.

Note that this entry isn't about the sort of pub which has any kind of non-audience participation fighting laid on, whether between people or animals (or both).


1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • In the immediate present these sort of places are not as common as they were in, say, the 1980s, and what passes for a fighting pub these days is often a lot tamer than it once would have been, but plenty of places still have at least one.
  • In a humourous campaign, there will usually be one deaf old lady who used to come to the pub with her late husband when it was still a respectable local. She still turns up on a regular basis and drinks, oblivious to the violence and considered sacrosanct by the brawlers.
  • A PC seeking an immediate reputation as a brawler might visit one of these and challenge all comers - whatever the outcome, he will be noticed.
  • Bodyguards might be dragged into somewhere like this by their principle.
  • PCs who want to beat someone up can lure them to one of these places and attack them - as long as they're prepared for people joining in.
  • PCs in law enforcement will generally avoid these places, however a new, lawful stupid boss might decide to "clean the place up", or they might be forced into the bar when a brawler dies, or an ignorant tourist is beaten to death.
  • This might be a good place to recruit a flash mob for a riot or to attack a rival group.
  • If this place has a bouncer … expect him to be terrifying.
  • A particularly silly story might have the fights be a sanctioned activity. The bouncer collects waivers at the front door, the bartender blows a whistle to start or stop the fight, and patrons make bets on who's still standing when time is called.
    • Actually, that's not that silly - it might be a different sort of establishment, but a pub that has prize fights going on in the cellar or back room is entirely historically congruent, and from that to, essentially, a fight club is not all that far either. Combine that with a biker bar and you might consider it a form of impromptu training regime, especially for say, football casuals, skinheads or violent anarchists for whom it might make good practice for their main business.
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