It looks like one of those respectable english clubs out of an old movie where elderly earls discuss the Crimean War and eccentric aristocrats make extravagant wagers over games of whist. That's when you notice that some of the patrons seem a bit… peculiar. A young teen in knickerbockers with an improbably squiff of hair plays with a snow-white Skye Terrier while his friend, a burly old salt with a bushy black beard, pours himself another whiskey. A woman in a skimpy leather outfit chats with her own dog, a robot who wags it's tail and chats back. A tall man with a long, hawk-like nose and smoking a curved pipe plays a game of billiards against a medical man who walks with a slight limp. A soldier in a Confederate Army uniform peruses a newspaper: The Barsoomian Times. A scarred man with a blaze of red hair hanging over one eye; wearing a cape and bearing the sign of the skull and crossbones, broods over a glass of wine. Oh, and the guy serving drinks at the bar… is a raccoon.
A common setting in adventure stories is the tavern: the place where Everyone Knows Your Name and where adventurers from distant lands can meet, drink and encounter mysterious old men with maps to dungeons. In a D-Hopping campaign, this tavern very well might exist outside the regular boundaries of the universe and connect to multiple dimensions, making it an Inn Between the Worlds.
Additional examples can be found at the TV Tropes Wiki.
Game and Story Use
- The Inn Between the Worlds serves the same narrative function as the tavern in any other campaign, only squared. Maybe even cubed.
- It can serve as a good base of operations for an adventuring party, allowing them to travel to many different worlds, as in the Horatio Club setting from GURPS Time Travel.
- Since the Inn exists outside of Time and Space, characters can arrive there by accident, through magic portals, technological devices, however fits the plot.
- The Inn also provides a perfect excuse to include NPC cameo appearances by Fictional Characters.
- The into vignette is an example of this. How many can you identify?