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[Let's Build] d100 Strange Shops
Maybe magical, extraplanar, or just unusual. Comment and I'll add yours to the list :)
Imp Imporium - This store is small and boxy, and entirely made of redwood. A tall devil stands behind the counter wearing a suit and tie, and imps are chained to the walls. He offers you the services of one of his imps for a small price- the rights to the imp's memories of what they did when you're done. He requires a much larger material collateral for if you don't return the imp or it dies/is irreparably maimed in your service.
Coagulation Station - A seemingly normal (if ugly) old woman runs this roadside popup store. It is nothing more than a cart with a sign next to it reading "Coagulation Station" painted roughly in red over a lime background. She offers healing supplies, potions, and rations in return for a small vial of your blood. (Feel free to come up with consequences for buying from her, such as her being a hag or using it for a strange ritual, etc.)
Elemental Extras - An air, earth, fire and water elemental stand in the four corners of this (entirely brick) shop. Unfortunately, the "shopkeepers" only speak primordial, so good luck if you don't. They each offer to put special elemental effects on whatever you own, such as a fire effect on your sword, an ice effect on your armor to freeze whatever hits you, or an earth effect on an arrow to have surrounding dirt swallow whoever it hits. Everything here is understandably very expensive.
Vraug aks stor - A very tall, older orc hero enthusiastically tries to sell his weapons in this shop in order to retire. They're hung up on the walls, all showing varying signs of use. Some appear to be magical. Vraug also tries to tell his customers stories about each weapon before they buy (and especially before they ask.) The weapon most prominently displayed is a +4 Great Axe, with obsidian blades, a dragon-scale tip on the end and golden threads running down the handle. There are a few chinks in it, and the tip somehow has a dent in it, but the damage only seems to add to the charm. He charges an extraordinary price for this axe.
Angel Bazaar - Apparently recently the churches haven't been generating enough coin to keep the local deity fiscally afloat, and some angels have taken it upon themselves to raise that extra money. Some are selling more regular items for cheaper prices, such as healing items, some are selling more extravagant magical items, and even others are offering "miracles." They're all set up in a series of stands in a small square that you swear wasn't here before.
Betsie's Black Cauldron- everything is black, especially Betsie. From black oak ethanol to black licorice she has ingredients and potions unique to her gimmick. u/LateLolth96
The Fleeting Flyer's Fast Findings- if the item floats, flies, or is otherwise airborne this shop might have it. Limited time only and has (randomized) a rare three uncommons and six commons but the more you travel the more likely you are to come across it because it's on a one man spell jammer with two carnival cars behind it. u/LateLolth96
The Kyuss Kasino- a worm themed casino where the main attraction is the purple tunnel which is a purple worm in a metal harness designed to prevent it from moving and to keep its mouth open. The wager, and incidentally, the show is if you can make it out the other end alive you [win]. There are scrying orbs that display a live feed of the current "adventurer" in the worm for 5 silver lasting 30 min before the next five silver (no refunds). Quest hook? u/LateLolth96
Djinni Gin Jamboree- a once a month festival celebrating a moon cycle of the dm's choosing. Marids sell their distilled saliva as well as various forms of never-before-seen-by-man fish dishes, and water elementals play live music which more or less sounds like the rhythmic gurgling of a muddy brook. u/LateLolth96
The Crossroads Corridor - An invite only shop, given to adventures who have a number of their own magical items. When the invitation is slid under any closed doorway, said doorway will become the doorway to the shop. Operated by The Masked Man, it is a magical item shop that trades magical items for magical items of similar value. Leaving will exit out the door you originally put the invitation under. u/Hacknslaasher
Bottom's Bottomless Meatpies - It's cheap, delicious (although a bit gamey and hard to chew) and the servings are enormous. The shop is run by an old goblin with an enormous smile, his name is Toothy Bottom, less so because of his bum, and more so because of a secret that he isn't telling any one, the secret that has made his Meatpie-shop the most well visited in the entire area, at least by those not able to afford fine dining in the upper districts.For you see, underneath this humble shopped, staffed every hour of every day with more goblins than you can count on one hand, or two hands if you have taken ABM (Advanced Barbarian Maths), lies a large, cavernous mining operation.You enter it through a set of large trap-doors found in the cold-store basement where you find the literal wheelbarrows of meat that allow every customer to order however much meat they want in (or on) their pies, as long as the Goblins can lift it up to the counter (the largest order so far was, according to the Goblins managing the front of the house, "the weight of a small baby wrapped in a nasty hunting dog." they have made no comment as to how they know that specific measurement).Once you are through the trap-doors, you'll find a rail-system rivaling that of the largest Dwarven mines, with rail-master goblins timing and directing all the in- and out- going traffic, and every cart that comes in is absolutely and utterly loaded with meat, which is then loaded on wheelbarrows and carted up through the trapdoor.If you were to follow the rails as deep as they go, through all of the winding tunnels, across chasms, past various cave-dwelling monsters that try to snack on the meat or goblins or, well, you, then you'll eventually find yourself at the namesake of mr. Toothy Bottom.A large, mass of rock-hard skin, covered in spines and horns and other sharp shapes, it has been split open, and the dark flesh underneath is mined ceaselessly by a small army of Goblins. They aren't violent, in fact, they are quite cowardly, but they are as professional as any Goblin can be, and they are also fighting a continuous fight against the flesh with their pickaxes.For you see, the open wound is constantly trying to close itself, regenerating at a blinding speed that the Goblins have learned to keep up with after opening the wound large enough to allow for their massive excavation progress.This may be the toothy bottom of the pits and chasms.But it is also a small area of the sleeping Tarrasque, regenerating fast enough that it does not notice the harm being done to it, and with a large enough Goblin Workforce to drive the economy of what is, essentially, a small Goblin Kingdom in these tunnels, complete with blacksmiths making new Meat-axes and monster-hide-leathercrafters making workboots and pants for the Goblins working down in that caustic blood.And let's not forget, that the entire lower class of the city has eaten Tarrasque meat at least once, some of them for years.But it's only two silver pieces for as much pie as you want (or can carry), so who cares to ask where it's all coming from? u/Neknoh
Sarah’s sewing shop, “World class Seamstress.” - She means world class! She can repair even magical fabric to like new condition. Everything she makes alterations to gives them a +1 to charisma for 24hrs or until dirtied. Bonus returns after being thoroughly washed and dried (some items are dry clean only)She’s also a dry cleaners. u/rab-byte
The Philosopher’s Time Shop - Sundials, watches, windup clocks, candle clocks, hourglasses the size of mites up to the size of your average goliath, the Philosopher has a range to suit almost any buyer in need of a way to measure time. Be careful, the hours you spend there fly away like seconds! u/ElZoof
Oakshot Saddliery - Gwinnett Oakshot caters to a select clientele, those looking for clothes, armour, weapons and equipment specifically designed to suit those who spend at least part of their days in a different body shape. Minor magic at most, it’s mostly just very well designed to suit your Druid on the go or werebeing out for a night on the town. u/ElZoof
Jasper, Goldhand, Bloodstrangler and Smith - What does “‘til death us do part” mean if your wife is now a lich? Does a lifetime guarantee still stand if the object in question broke before the manufacturers were born? What exactly is an annuity? The firm of JGB&S is on hand to assist with non-devilish contracts of any kind. u/ElZoof
Morogh's "Pet's" - This pet shelter is run by an older halfling named Morogh. He's kindhearted and only wants the best for his little animal companions he sells. From apes over hawks to wolfs, he just has every animal companion you could think of, but his store also has a back area. Not everyone is welcomed there as he also sells abandoned monster hatchlings, like griffons, owlbears, pseudodragons and even a red dragon wyrmling. Those monsters are all tamed so no danger there, Morogh just wants to know his customers better before trying to sell one of his more 'exotic' assets.The adventurers maybe can persuade him or do a favor for him (possible quest), like acquiring some exotic food for the more demanding beasts and monsters he houses. After this Morogh decides to sell them one of his monsters as a companion. u/Th3Banzaii
Plane Ole' Butcher - A butcher shop that sells meat from an unknown plane of origin. One day a small portal opened up from the ground and strange-smelling exotic meats have been extruding from the portal. A shop was built around the portal which has been active and pumping for 50 years. People come to see the wonder firsthand but they stay for the dirt-cheap meats. The meats are char-grilled and heavily spiced to soften the meat's naturally pungent flavor. u/HeyShipmate
Looters Late Return (aka LooLaRe)- A seedy smelling store run by an androgynous goblin who wears overly fancy clothes. This goblin sells in bulk only, and at discounted prices. The catch is that if you make a purchase, you must sign a contract guaranteeing repeated weekly purchases. Your bulk discount increases the more product you are able to move, but if you are unable to maintain your weekly purchases, the goblin’s secret network of enforcers comes for it’s dues. Or your life. u/pikkl_rikk
Sandman Fisheries - This tightly packed stall smells or marine air and salty nets. It has all the sea can offer to the gourmet with a striking emphasis on huge fish: tuna, spadefish, and the occasional gargantuan squid. The product is impeccably fresh. Always. Sandman (a desert dweller and camel race aficionado) doesn't seem to understand what you're asking about the supply chain and how come his shop ever exists at hundred of miles from the nearest sea! u/Banuken
T'zargo's fine wares - This shop can be mysteriously seen in any plane, but always appears as an identical modern convenience store looking building. Inside is a tabaxi named T'zargo, always advertising his "fine wares at reasonable prices." He sells extremely rare and powerful items for millions of gold, along with random everyday items. Some of these rare items include an axe once wielded by Baphomet, and draws from a deck of many things. His mundane items he always pulls out of a box on his counter, and they include a full rowboat and 30 chairs. u/Kellen1013
The Magic Commoner - A basic magic item shop owned by a young elf wizard named Tavon Ilidan. He sells all sorts of magical things from armor to weapons and rings an such.The thing about his shop even though on the outside it looked like a regular building despite being one solid color; purple, orange, green ect. But when you walk inside it's much larger than its outward appearance.The shop also travels via a magical door. Tavon has a set of different keys he keeps with him representing the different cities of the land/world. He first closes the front door, locks it, then unlocks it with a new city key and when he opens it, it opens to the new city.Tavon's appearance reflects on which city he is in and what color his shop is. If is shop is blue his robes are blue as well. Tavon also has a secret. Even though he looks like a young elf he is actually an ancient gold dragon that simply likes to travel and meet new people without the stigma of being a dragon. He likes to play tricks on people and test them to see if they are worthy of specific items in his shop, (IE a wand of fireballs he made himself.) u/nota_person
Mallard Maladies - A veterinary clinic for ducks. The shop keeper is an old blind man who refuses to heal non duck creatures, but can be tricked into healing non ducks with a high enough deception ability. Despite the name, the clinic services male and female ducks. u/El_Jewbacabra
The Exploding Wand Shop- A shop that is characterized by an explosion that lifts the roof of the building off the walls and expelled black smoke every few hours - followed by the owner shouting from inside "I'M FINE, EVERYTHING'S OKAY!"The owner is a young Eladrin Artificer named Seyf Melorathian who experiments on new wands and other magical wonders. His face is a black charcoal from the soot of the explosions but otherwise would be a light brown. He has a pair of glasses that protects his eyes from being covered in soot. He has blond hair and wears a Smith's apron. He sells common rarity wands, up to rare rarity wonderous items, and has been working on an experimental wand of fireballs. You can only purchase an experimental wand if you do a material gathering quest for him.If you buy one of his wand of fireballs (2000gp and a waiver signed to not sue) there's a 10% chance that when used the wand will cast a second fireball centered on you during the spell.He also offers enchanting services at various speeds depending on the rarity of the requested enchantment. He will also willingly take on apprentices or teach enchantment to anyone. u/xBramStokerx
Fishman’s Man Fry – A Triton, named Vamras Vogalath, with broken Common serves delectable seafood dishes. If asked about the name, he explains that it is food FOR men, not for fishes.Side note- this is shop is not anywhere near any large body of water. Nobody in town is sure exactly where the fish come from. u/Unprincipled
Shwarma Tent - delicious herb infused fried flatbread with cured meats and shredded carrot and cucumber. The tent has small tripod tables and stools of worn wood. Patrons carve their names and other messages into the tabletops. Among the mundane names can be found the names of previous characters and NPCs that the party met, BBEGs they defeated, dated long ago, the current ruler of the land and the name of an old lover with a heart around it, Ash Ketchum, Drizzt, The Doctor, and the original Avengers. Searching carefully can also reveal a cryptic message to the party, seemingly carved years prior, but naming the PCs. u/bluecor
Threads of Fate - three old sisters weave spidersilk and mundane silk into beautiful garments with embroidery that sometimes changes its image. For instance, a nightrobe has the moon and a starry sky embroidered, and the moon changes its phase with the real moon. On another, a dragon slowly chases its own tail, with its wingtips pointing to the time, as a clock. Yet another displays an hourglass which constantly drains, and runs out when the wearer dies. Other images might show great moving battles, gently waving flags that slowly fade and dilapidate as the empire becomes more corrupt, or ruins that become progressively overgrown with vines. The theme of the garments deal with the passage of time and the inevitable end of life. u/bluecor
Salty's - the owner Saltamancia sells salt of differing coarseness and colors, and is an expert on which textures best compliment which purposes, from baking fine rolls to soaking one's feet after a days march. He has certain rare salts from distant lands with rare properties. For abjuring circles, he has a blessed salt that cannot be dispersed by gusts of wind. For healing, he has a fine blue salt that, when mixed with honey and packed into a wound, prevents infection and scarring. Another salt taken with hot peppermint tea can remove an additional level of exhaustion with a rest. True to his name, Saltamancia is old and curmudgeonly u/bluecor
Bestboots - Bestboots sells custom footwear of exceeding quality, made from rare materials. The footwear can be light for nimble moves or heavy for kicking doors. With the right materials (possibly a quest) minor advantages can be built into the footwear. For example, a sole of felted yeti hair can give normal traction on ice, and a sole of gummed soapwood sap can allow the wearer to ignore a casting of grease underfoot. u/bluecor
Hap's Microbrews - Hap claims to have perfected the means of beer portability, in that his brews are bottled and sealed under pressure in containers of lightweight spun cellulose which dont shatter when dropped. Opening his bottled beer releases a small localized burst of cold, chilling the beer just shy of freezing. The locals generally ignore his cart and "ice cold beer" sign, as ales are meant to be drunk at room temperature so that they don't unsettle the stomach. A discouraged Hap sits by his cart of beer bemoaning his own foolishness at sinking his fortune into such a folly. u/bluecor
Indelible - this quiet dusty alcove sells the magical inks, parchment, paper, vellum, papyrus, and delicate quills needed to prepare arcane and divine scrolls. Also sketch artistry, heraldry, and calligraphy supplies. Blank spellbooks, charcoal, pastels, and a few unique items are sold. Glowing chalk leaves marks that remain luminous for several hours. A special lightly waxed paper is waterproof and can be written on underwater with a special pencil. A waterproof scrollcase holds six tightly rolled papers in individual tubes, designed so you can immediately draw out the scroll you desire without searching through a sheaf of papers. The proprietor Abagnale is a gifted forger, and can make needed documents for the right fee, but only those skilled in thieve's cant would be able to recognize this based on a small glyph carved above the lintel. u/bluecor
The Magical Arts - this is a totally mundane shop which sells shaved and marked decks of cards, scarves for pulling from your sleeves, salted nuts cans that shoot a confetti burst when opened, squirting lapel flowers, palm buzzers, chewing gum that turns your teeth black, whoopie cushions, and stink spray. The guy working there isn't the owner, but is happy to teach you how to use his goods. While distracting you with a card trick, he will also attempt to shortchange you or pickpocket something (minus 4 to notice his ledgerdemain). If caught, he will only say "check your pocket" and there you will find the item you thought he pickpocketed. "Its all part of the trick, man," he will say, as he pulls a coin from your ear. u/bluecor
The Bee's Knees - honey from different types of flowers with exceptional flavors. Meads of each type are also sold, as well as bee pollen and honey candies. A honey from frostclover will quickly dispell a hangover. Phasebee royal jelly can allow an additional use of misty step for a character with that feature, but the cost is exorbitant. The affogatto with honeycomb, coffee, and ice cream is delicious, and gives the benefits of a short rest when consumed in the shop over the course of an hour. u/bluecor
Wacky Backy - Mr. C. Marin runs this fine tobacconist. House blends of pipe and cigarette tobacco can have classic Gandolf effects: controllable luminous smoke rings of various colors, and custom flavors and scents. The halfling weed is also sold. A self-lighting pipe is available, as well as a "peace pipe," which is a heavy iron pipe useable as a club (but you can also smoke out of it). Mr. Marin can craft custom peace pipes of nearly any light weapon. u/bluecor
Wild Bill's Skins - Bill buys and sells tanned and untanned hides of all types. All. Types. Bill can craft armor and other leather goods from nearly any type of hide. Custom saddles can be made for any beast. A saddle on display is embossed "ride me hard and put me away wet." It isn't for sale, and it looks like it would fit Bill. He can craft a skin-tight custom leather armor that is concealable under clothing, but the customer must go into the back of the shop for a very long and invasive fitting. Rumor has it that some customers never emerge. u/bluecor
Yellow Dancer - This is a musical instrument store run by a purple-haired elf named Lancer who was a freedom fighter in the past. His sister, Yellow Dancer herself, a famous concert performer who is a recognized star, is sometimes there in his place. Instruments of high quality and beginner pieces are sold. On commission, Lancer can craft an instrument which contains a secret sheath for a hidden weapon or wand. Also sold is "the Axe," a battleaxe/guitar combo, with a magical property of sound amplification that allows it to be heard in the largest venue, and allows for unique distortion effects. At DM Option, the Axe can also be used for ranged sonic attacks, mimicking the effects of Eldritch Blast. u/bluecor
The Titty Twister: an adult entertainment venue, mostly for merchants and caravan guards. A goblin barker in a tophat and coattails out front gives a spirited pitch about the feminine wonders to be found within. Inside is a seedy establishment styled to look like an ancient temple. Billiards and darts games line the walls, and a poker game is playing out at a table near the center. Its a rough crowd, and fights that break out are settled with the loser being dragged away by the bouncers and the winner buying a round for the house. Beautiful dancers take turns on stage and mingle with clients between songs. Private shows are available. During the day the massive door is barred and the place is eerily silent, but from dusk til dawn raucous action is there for the taking. Locals stay well clear and pray for protection if they must pass near this den of sin. u/bluecor
The Campus Martius: This strange storefront is a place for games of strategy, including draughts and card games, as well as sandtable war strategy matches involving miniature army figurines, played out with dice and measuring sticks. Arguments over rules are common, and are arbitrated by a robed and wigged judge on a low dias at one end, who often consults an enormous tome of rules which only he is allowed to read from. 1sp per game, per player, but by convention, the loser pays the fees of his opponents. A sweet green drink called mountain brew is popular here. It enhances focus, adding +1 to concentration saves for an hour, but leaves one tired, -1 to all saves for an hour thereafter. u/bluecor
Millenium Sustainable Armory: run by an elvish druid, Millenium sells "murder free" armor made from silk, giant leaves, sustainably harvested ironwood and similar materials. The armor otherwise has the properties of normal light and medium armors, but contains no leather, bone, or metal. Cost is about double. Heavy armor is not available. The leaves making up the armor do not wilt or turn brown. u/bluecor
The Meat Market: run by a shadowy figure in torn robes, this odd shop gives permanent magical effects in exchange for body parts. The more important the organ or body part, the better the effect. The effect goes to whoever the part comes from, so don’t get greedy! Wonder where the parts are going... u/CephaloPawd
Fernado's Fish Frenzy - in a village where magic and fishing collide, you might run into a man who can be at multiple places at a time, Fernado. He is a mystical fisherman who sets up booths in town squares, where the fish fight to the death in gladiator-style combat. The loser, is placed on his selling slab and the victor becomes larger in size. He has a 'leaderboard' that updates magically after every battle, accounting for all of the places Fernado is at in your world. u/BEZERK0xD
A rickety old shop plastered with the title of some famous adventuring party / adventurer on it. The entire shop is run by a near delusional fan of the party/individual, and sells merchandise about them, as well as weirdly specific information that you aren't sure how they know. (If your party is famous enough, the store might be dedicated to them) u/bladeraptor3
"Mr. Donovan." The bank man shook my hand and gave me a swift smile, the kind of smile people use when there's nothing to smile about. "I appreciate you coming here, Mr. Donovan. You've been dodging our messages for quite some time, I can only assume you know you owe a great deal of money." The man places paper after paper on the table between us. "As you can see, this is what your mortgage. This number is what you owe on that." I followed his finger with my gaze as it moved rapidly across the papers. "I see here you still owe a bit of money on your student loans and it looks like you made a considerable withdrawal a few weeks ago. Can you explain to me what exactly you were thinking, Mr. Donovan?" "My eight-year-old daughter has cancer. It was for medical bills." "My condolences." The man did not so much as flinch before pressing on. "With that in mind you really should have informed the bank earlier. If you had come to us when we first call you we might have been able to restructure your finances to buy you some time, but with the way you've been handling it you have not been making things easy for yourself." "I'm sorry I haven't been able to meet with you earlier, but my daughter has been going through operations and chemotherapy almost daily. She's eight and she doesn't have anyone else, I can't just leave her alone at the hospital. Isn't there anything you can do for me now?" It takes all my self restraint not to punch him in the face when he looks at me with his bland expression, as if I just told him about the weather, but I remind myself he's the only one who can help me right now, so I force myself to remain calm. "I'm sorry, Mr. Donovan, there simply isn't anything more I can do for you at such a late stage. So as you can see, this, this and this is what you owe in total. That's about..." He trails off while counting in his head, silently mouthing the numbers. "Eight thousand dollars." I answer quietly. "Yes, that's about right. If you've read the warnings we've sent you, you should know you have until tomorrow night to pay the full amount or you're looking at losing your house." "I've been sleeping at the hospital for the last couple of weeks so I have not received any messages. Please, isn't there anything you can do, anything at all? How am I supposed to come up with eight thousand dollars in 24 hours?" "I'm afraid not. You put yourself in this position, Mr. Donovan, you are the one who has to find a way out. As for how to make that kind of money in a day, if I knew that I would not be working here." He smiled at his own joke, extending his hand, only to retract it when he realized I had stalked off without shaking it. ~ Annabel broke into a smile when she saw me coming down the corridor. She was the only nurse that Emma, my daughter, would let near her. Emma said the other nurses treated her like a product, she came in sick, she gets her treatment and then they ship her back home, no need to talk to or make a product laugh, but Annabel wasn't like that. I would often find the two of them sitting on the bed, laughing and playing cards. Annabel was always there after every procedure, as if they were sisters, never mind that Annabel was thirty years older and Hispanic. She seemed to be the only one who could put a smile on Emma's face. Even I couldn't do that anymore. "How did it go?" Her smile drops slightly, but she quickly picks it up again. "You first." She asked teasingly, but I couldn't help feeling like she was trying to hide something. It annoyed me what she knew I had been at the bank and that money was tight, but I had to tell her something when I asked her to watch Emma, and I didn't want to lie to her after all she has done for us. "Not so good." I try to soften the word with a smile, but it comes out crooked. "Money is in short supply right now, that's all, but don't worry about us, we'll be fine." This time Annabel's smile fell right off. She bit her lip before she answered. "I'm afraid I have some bad news too." She failed at masking her disappointment with a smile just a miserably as I had. "What?! Why didn't you tell me right away? Did something happen to her?" Annabel hurried after me as I ran into room 402. "No, it's nothing like that, Emma is fine, she's just tired." Despite her words my heart was thumping in my chest until I tore back the drapes around Emma's bed and saw the frail, hairless girl stirring and grunting softly, the way she always did when she woke up. "What's wrong, dad?" She rubbed a tired eye while looking at me suspiciously. "Nothing, I was just... just checking on you, that's all." I kissed her on her head and held her in my arms for a moment. "I'm not dead yet, you know." She rubbed the spot on her bald head where I had kissed her as if to remove any germs she may have caught. "You know I don't like it when you kiss me there." "I know, I just had to make sure you still didn't lose your memory with your hair." I teased and she stuck out her tongue at me. It struck me how red it was against her pale skin. "In fact, I'm still not sure, I should probably make sure." I held her down and tickled her, planting kisses on her scalp while she screeched with laughter. "Stop! Help! I'm going to die!" Emma wheezed, but when I let go off her she did not stop laughing. "You're not going to die." I told her solemnly. "I won't let you." "I don't think the cancer cares what you think, dad." "He better, I don't think he would like me when I'm angry." I winked at her and she gave me one of her rare smiles. "I'll leave you alone for a minute, okay? Annabel had something she wanted to talk to me about." When I turned around I saw she had been silently watching us with a warm smile on her face. Once we had stepped outside, Annabel was the first to speak. "I don't know if I ever told you this, but you're a good father." Annabel smiled. "I don't know about that. What kind of father can't even pay his mortgage." I felt my cheeks turn bright red, I had not meant to tell her that. "The kind that knows she needs you by her side more than she needs your money." That's what I've been telling myself, but hearing it from someone else sends a wave of relief over me. "Thank you. Really, I don't know what we would do without you." She humbly inclined her head. "What I wanted to talk to you about is the results from the scan she took yesterday. It appears she's been having trouble with her liver." Annabel pointed out a few numbers on a chart that meant nothing to me. "So what does this mean, exactly?" "She's not in any immediate danger, but she needs another operation to avoid further complications. The procedure is not difficult, but it will cost you about two thousand dollars." I felt a cold lump in my chest that grew like a weed, covering me from the inside. "Two thousand dollars..." I sank down to the floor in the empty hospital corridor with my back against the wall. "I can't do it." Saying the words was like opening a flood gate, along with the first drop, everything else spilled out. "I owe the bank eight thousand by tomorrow or I'm out of the house and now you're telling me my daughter might die if I can't pay the hospital another two thousand." I laughed a bitter laughter. "It's all falling apart. I just can't keep the pieces together anymore, they're all coming down on top of me and that wouldn't even be so bad, but Emma will get crushed with me and I can't let that happen. She deserves so much better. She deserves..." I don't even know what I was going to say, so instead I simply sat there with tears rolling down my cheeks. "She deserves a full and happy life." Annabel placed a hand on my shoulder and crouched down next to me. "She will have it. I know things aren't looking good right now, but we'll figure something out together. We will think of something." "How can you say that? There's nothing to think off, the only way I could possibly make ten thousand in a day is..." I felt like an idiot even for thinking it, but there was no other way. I wiped my tears on my sleeve and stood up abruptly. "Is what?" "I've got to go." ~ After three hours of driving through the darkness, the blinking neon lights and the bright posters of Las Vegas hurt my eyes. When I entered one of the casinos I was surprised to see it looked just like the movies. I had never been inside a real casino before, I was never one to gamble, yet here I was with nothing but a thin wad of cash in my pocket and barely enough gas to get back home. I passed the one-armed bandits in the hall and approached the woman behind the desk. "I would like all of this in chips, please." I dumped the wad of crumbled bills on the counter and she looked at me for a moment. I thought I saw pity in her eyes, that she was going to tell me she could see what I was doing and that it was futile. The house always wins. But the moment passed and she said nothing, instead she took the money, counted it and handed me a small stack of chips. "Here you go, sir. 293 dollars." I took the chips and headed out into the main hall. It was almost midnight by now, but the place was bustling with life. Fat men in suits smoking cigars, young men with a dangerous flash of intelligence in their eyes at the poker tables, beautiful women in long dresses playing Blackjack while scanning the room. I had never felt so out of place in my life, but I could not go back now, this was the only way. For a moment I entertained the idea of sitting down at a poker table, I had seen how much money you could make at poker if you played it right. I had played in home games since I was a teenager, but even in those games I was never among the best, no, poker wasn't my game. Instead I turned to scan the room for something else. I wandered around for a while, watching the games, but even more so watching the people. Some of them jumped in joy as they won, some smirked while others cursed their luck as they saw their hopes and dreams get pulled away by the rake. I sat down at a Roulette table and watched as the board and the ball spun in opposite directions. It hit the edge and started bouncing around, until it finally slowed down and came to rest in a black slot. "22 Black!" A man in the same vest the woman at the front desk had been wearing called out. "What is the payout for betting on a single number?" I asked the man. "35:1. Would you like to place a bet, sir? The next round is about to start." "Uhm... no thanks, maybe next round." I couldn't do the calculation in my head, but I saw a man with a notepad and pen in hand, so I asked him if I could please borrow it. After some persuasion he agreed. I almost laughed when I saw the final number, I had to double check to make sure it was right. "293 times 35..." I muttered while I counted it again. "10255." Just enough to pay the bank, the hospital and maybe put food on the table for a few days. This could not be chance, it must be that whatever cruel gods there may be have finally decided to save me in my time of need. This was everything I could have asked for, everything I could have hoped for. I gave the pen and paper back and sat down at the Roulette table again. "Betting this time, sir?" He asked in a friendly manner. "Yes, everything on twelve." It had always been Emma's favorite number, it just could not fail me now when I needed it the most. The man spun the wheel and dropped the little white ball into the pit, making it spin and bounce while I watched it like a hawk. "Come on..." Someone next to me muttered, but I only stared. It started to slow down enough that I could see the numbers and everything the ball passed number twelve my heart sank in my chest, only to be jolted back to life an instant later when the ball came around again. In excruciating slow-motion, it slowed down and stopped, resting in the black slot labelled eleven. "Better luck next time, sir." The man said and swept every last dollar I had off the table. ~ The drive back home was the longest three hours of my life. I pulled over at a bar to get something to numb the pain, but then I remembered I didn't own a single dollar. It's just as well, I brought this on my self, everything is my fault, just like the man at that bank said. If I was a better person, a better father, none of this would have happened. I deserve every stab of pain and guilt I feel and even thinking about having a drink when my daughter had been missing me for hours without knowing where I was or when I'd be back made my guilt double. The nurse at the front desk gave me a strange glance when I barged in without a word, but did nothing to stop me. I looked at my clock before entering room 402. 3:30 AM. Emma lay in her bed, curled up like a ball with blankets wrapped around her, only her head sticking out from her warm cocoon. Next to her in a chair was Annabel, she had a newspaper in a slack hand, but her head was tilted back and she was snoring softly. I took the chair next to hers and placed it next to Emma's bed. I clutched her hand in mine and buried my face in her blankets. "I'm sorry." I sobbed into her lap, I couldn't help myself. "I'm sorry I wasn't a better father to you. I'm sorry your mother was never there for you. I'm sorry you had to wear patched clothes to school and that I had to cut your hair even though I didn't know how. I'm sorry I can't pay for this operation. I hope one day you can forgive me, even though I won't deserve it." I felt a hand on my shoulder, but the touch made me flinch as if it was painful. "Come, let's not wake her." Annabel lead me outside into the corridor and we both sat down. She offered me a cigarette in silence. "We're not allowed to smoke in here, are we?" "No." She said and lit the cigarette. I took it and inhaled deeply, making me cough violently, made even worse by my attempts to keep it quiet so as not to wake Emma, but at least my trembling hands steadied a little. "So where were you?" Annabel asked and took a drag from the cigarette. "Drove to Vegas. I put everything on one spin of the roulette." Annabel smiled sadly. "I thought you might do something like that." "Aren't you going to ask how it went?" She shook her head. "You're not very good at hiding your emotions." I chuckled through my tears. "No, I suppose you're right. I guess this is it. Everything is done now. I'll have to sleep on the streets and go panhandling during the days. I think 'My daughter has cancer, spare a dime' has a nice ring to it, maybe it'll be all right." It was meant to be a joke, but no one laughed. "You don't have to do that." Annabel said and took another drag from the cigarette. "I don't see what else I can do. I'm out of options. I don't have so much as a dollar and the bank is about to take everything I own. I doubt they'll even leave me the clothes on my body." Annabel offered me the cigarette, but I declined, it did not feel like the right time to increase my chances of getting cancer. "They won't take anything from you." Annabel reached into her front pocket and pulled out a slim piece of paper and gave it to me. It was a check signed by herself. "Eleven thousand dollars...?" I looked at the check and then at Annabel in disbelief. "I can't take this money, it's not right, you barely know me." She took my hand in hers and forcefully closed it around the check. "Take it. You need it more than I do." I shook my head. "Why? You have hundreds of patients and we're surely not the first that can't pay. You can't go paying everyone's medical bills, let alone my mortgage and my loans." Annabel took one final drag from the cigarette before putting it out and throwing it in a bin. She turned to me with a serious face. "I'm going to tell you a story that I've never told anyone before. When I first started here as a nurse, almost twenty years ago, I did not know any of the other nurses. I was shy and did not make friends easily, but I soon connected to one of the patients. He was an old man by the name of Aaron and he had leukemia. He never had any visitors so one day I asked him about it and so he told me his wife had already died and there was no one else. I stayed with him to keep him company that night. After that he, like Emma, he refused to see any other nurses. I got to know him well over the next few weeks and he told me about his life, everything he had done or wanted to do and all the things he had seen, but for every passing day he grew weaker. One day looked even weaker and paler than usual when he called me into his room, but he assured me he was fine. He told me a story of how when he was a young man he had found an older man in an alley, beat and bloody, half the bones in his body broken and left to die. Aaron took the old man in, helped him to the hospital and helped nurture him back to health, never asking for anything in return. When the old man had recovered, he said that in return for saving his life, he would give my friend his life savings, asking only that he passed it on to 'you are good, you need it more than I'. After he finished the story he passed the money to me and told me 'you are good, you need it more than I'." Annabel looked at me in silence for a while, then she leaned in, squeezed my hand with the check in her own hands and whispered to me. "You are good, you need it more than I."
Biggest mistake that I see players make to other players is offering unasked for advice. If someone wants an opinion, or has said that they are new and might need help its ok, but otherwise just let them play their cards. If you don't like the way they play, find another table. As for etiquette toward dealers, just keep in mind that A-we want you to win. If you are losing you are much less likely to tip, and we live off of our tips and B-We don't control the cards, we just deliver them. If you wouldn't scream at the mailman for delivering your bills, don't scream at us if you hit 15 and bust.
Nope, but I think that they are doing well by the casino, and that in turn they do well by the community it is in. I can't say that this applies to all tribes, but the one that I work for has done a lot for the community they live in with the money they've gotten. Opened a health clinic that offers reduced price health care to everyone in the county, spent quite a bit on highway upgrades that they weren't required to, supported many local charities, that sort of thing.
Yes, and not usually. Generally the people that are easy to spot aren't actually good at it, so they don't do very well. I suppose if it became VERY VERY obvious they might, but those people would most likely be in a high limit area, and I don't deal there.
Well, some of them have regular jobs with irregular hours, some gamble for a living, and grahvity isn't wrong, some of them spend their social security/fixed income here. If you want the ritz/glamour, try Vegas or Atlantic City, some of the nicer casinos there will give you that feel.
Sometimes, it really depends on how the players are. If they are talking to me, asking for help, pretty much in anyway interacting with me, then not really. There are some days when I just want to pitch the entire deck of cards and call it quits though :)
Depends. If it's truly just a system, and it's working, I congratulate them! If it is a system I know, and it is flawed, I will advise them of the problem with it. People don't seem to realize, as a dealer I don't want you to lose! If you lose, you don't tip, then we are both unhappy. If you win, you may tip me, then we are both happy. Which do you think we prefer?
Not at my casino. We have very strict rules as to when we have to shuffle, and very little leeway. If you are tipping well and the deck is going badly I would offer to shuffle sooner, but once the cut card (at my casino it is a red plastic card, clearly different than the playing cards) comes out, as soon as that hand ends we must shuffle. I have once or twice accidentally done an extra hand, but that is the most I've done. As for varying your bet, wouldn't effect me at all. Also thank you for tipping!!!!
Depends on the casino. We used to have a casino relatively close to here that was 18 and up, but they recently went to 21. It is entirely dependent on the contract worked out between the tribe running the casino and the local government.
Some are. Really, it depends if they can afford to lose. Most people are polite, or at least quiet. If someone gets really bad I can ask my floor manager to have them leave. If they won't leave when the floor tells them to, security will generally escort them out. For the most part, I find that the other players will shame people out of being too big of a**holes. A little bit of complaining is fine, but I actually had someone throw something at me once. He was banned from the casino for life as far as I know.
Depends on how you mean. As far as I know they won't hire anyone convicted of a felony, though that may depend on the circumstances/how long ago. I know they hire people with HORRID credit, 'cause that's me!
I usually don't bother with insurance, because if you lose that and win your bet, you are still only making half the money. As for the buffet comp, at my casino, make sure you get and use your players card, always the points can add up quickly.
I am only part time, so I make quite a bit less than 125K. If I were working full time I would make approximately 40K. I know that dealers can make considerably more than that, but the casino opened as the economy was tanking, so.....
Single deck is 6:5, which is why I generally prefer double. We are required to place the cut card with a minimum of 15 cards on single deck, and 1/2 a deck on double, beyond that it depends how many players I have on my game. My main objective is to be sure that I never run out of cards on the last hand.
Never dealt in Vegas or Reno but we have quite a few dealers here who have, and I do know that we are taking quite a bit of business from Nevada, but I can't say I feel bad. After all, we need to make money too, right? :) I do hope that Nevada can find other ways to make income though, I like the state quite a bit.
Well, the tips I make range between $8-$12/hr. That is in addition to the base pay for me, which is a little over 8 an hour. It can be a really good job for a college student, depending on where you are. It is an awesome job if you like dealing with people, but the training can be kind of pricey if the casino/card room won't train you.
The casino trained me, because they were new. I know they do rarely offer training to outside people, but this casino prefers to promote from within. If you can't afford to go to dealer school, I would say get on with a casino in a non-dealing position and watch for the next time they are going to offer training
I love my job, and I think the pay is reasonable (works out to be about 20/hr) If you like working with people, don't mind noise and smoke and don't get too upset by jerks, then it is a great job. We are required to follow specific guidelines, so there isn't really any decision making so far as hands are played. Stay on hard 17+, hit on soft 17 or less. There are MANY opportunities for advancement, as a matter of fact a lot of the people that started training with me are now floor managers, and our Shift supervisor (that would be the pit bosses boss) started as a dealer. Players are sometimes rude/unreasonable, of course. So long as they aren't too bad, I just ignore it/try to jolly them into a better mood. If they get abusive/distracting to other players/dangerous, security will remove them from my table, or possibly the entire casino.
I have no plans on going to Vegas, mostly because my family/friends/life are all here. Also, we have a few dealers that were from Vegas who moved here to be dealers, and from what they've told me, I wouldn't like it.
I have, and so long as they seem to be with it enough to be alone in public, I do my best to treat them the same as anyone else. I try to be sympathetic if they are upset, but i can't not take the money, so...
Just hitting on a hard 13? No idea, I would never have to do that. If you were doubling down I would call, because there is the possibility that you will bust, and the possibility that you are trying to count, since otherwise most people wouldn't do that.
Well, wasn't something I personally saw, but a friend of mine had a guy that was so into the game he refused to leave the table for any reason. Was wearing an adult diaper. Shit himself at the table and kept playing until he was made to go clean himself up by security due to the biohazard.
Well, I was in training 4 hrs a day, 5 days a week for about 8 weeks, but they were teaching us quite a bit more than the standard. I believe a basic school can teach BJ in about 3 weeks. Roulette and Craps would be a few months
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