Running a homebrew 5e game based in a big city – and only a big city – means that I had to spend a lot of time filling that city up with stuff. Divvying it up into districts, making up businesses, parks, utilities, entertainment venues, religious buildings, back street alleyways and all of the folks that inhabit them was a big job. A forever unfinished job. And of course, I couldn’t do it alone. I spent a great deal of time looking around for extra supplements to pop in to the town here and there, little nuggets of flavour for my players to discover as their adventures take them around the city streets.
Enter: Toe Beans. You wouldn’t immediately think that an Eberron style, fantasy noir world with barely any daylight and a fascination with brass would need nor want a cat café, but once I discovered the supplement, being the cat lover that I am, I just knew that I had to put it in somewhere.
Toe Beans – made by Fistful of Crits (https://fistfulofcrits.co.uk/), is a homebrew shop module ideal for 5e that you can literally drop into your setting wherever you like. It’s super easy and light to run, and includes everything you need. Alongside the description of the café you’ll also get the following:
- Descriptions, art and personalities of the owner and his feline staff,
- A menu of delicious tea, coffee, milkshakes and desserts on offer,
- A rolling table for other patrons who may be present,
- A magic item counter with cute as heck items for sale,
- Quest hook ideas for a range of average party levels, including monster stat blocks
The digital pack comes with the booklet in PDF format as well as printables, including a menu for your players, loyalty cards, item cards and tea bag labels! Fantastic value for less than £5.
If you want to splash out and get the physical pack (super worth it!), you get all of this in lovely printed quality, including sticker sheets for the loyalty cards and tea bags so you can easily dress up some of your own for that extra immersion.
In my game, once I got my players to the café, they were all delighted by the change in pace from the outside world. Toe Beans was the perfect oasis from the dark, dangerous areas in other parts of the city, and a great place to relax and unwind with some RP as they sampled the range of drinks on offer, purchased enchantments and interacted with the owner and kitties. The enchanted items counter proved to be a great temptation for our bard, who spent an inordinate amount of time umm-ing and ahh-ing over what to buy!
In the end, my players have now visited Toe Beans twice, as it has become a sort of unofficial meeting spot for them with another NPC. I haven’t run the quest hooks with them yet, but perhaps the owner will trust them with his issues the next time they wander through the doors!
As a DM, I thoroughly recommend adding Toe Beans into your game if you’re after something light and fun for your players! But also don’t take my word for it; here’s a statement from one of my players to help convince you:
“I absolutely loved the bringing of a coffee house into a D&D world, with a developed menu and different flavours portrayed in the drinks and treats, unbelievably cute design, and a very nice touch of those minor boosting effects with the magic coffee drinks. Things like that make a world really come to life in my opinion, when you run into something that, really, on the grand scale at which adventurers and heroes function, doesn’t usually come into consideration.”– @nightwonderer
You can get Toe Beans from Fistful of Crits at https://fistfulofcrits.co.uk/.
Physical Edition (£20) – https://fistfulofcrits.co.uk/products/toe-beans-physical-edition
Digital Edition (£4.99) – https://fistfulofcrits.co.uk/products/toe-beans-digital-pdf-pack
P.S. If you’re looking for a map to run this with, then I recommend checking out Midgardia on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/midgardia) – I used their ‘Cat’ version of Trollskull (available for free!) and it worked purrfectly!