5E Adventures in Dwarven Mountain (now with sketches!)
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    Adventures in Dwarven Mountain (now with sketches!)

    Dwarves, hangover, and philosophy...

    I'm putting together an adventure for a new campaign that involves Dwarven Mountain, the realm of the dwarven gods Vergadain, Dugmaren Brightmantle, and Dumathoin in the Outlands (Concordant Opposition). The adventure sees the PCs enter Vergadain's divine realm in Dwarven Mountain, Strongale Hall. I am picturing it as a dwarven Casa Blanca meets interplanar Casino Royale, with wealth positively oozing out of the gold-plated walls. You'll find the first part of Dwarven Mountain - Strongale Hall - described in great depth here.

    Concept Sketches
    http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthr...=1#post6351079

    Random Tables
    Encounter Table
    Hangover Table

    Map of Strongale Hall (v0.1)
    http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthr...=1#post6352256

    Sites in Dwarven Mountain's Strongale Hall
    1. Esplanade of the Divine Alewives
    2. Great Distillery of Everflowing Ale
    3. Gambler's Paradise
    4. The Golden Temple
    5. Viaduct of the Merchant Princes
    6. Vergadain's Treasury
    7. Dwarven Mint
    8. Gilded Palm Thieves' Guild
    9. The Songhearth
    10. Drunken Guttar Inn & Stables
    11. Odzak's Emporium
    12. The Wishing Well
    13. Clan Silverhelm Trading House
    14. Rilkkaz Chasm
    15. Ironridge Gate
    16. The Wanderer's Gate
    Last edited by Quickleaf; Thursday, 4th September, 2014 at 05:59 AM. Reason: Updated first page links

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    After reviewing information about Dwarven Mountain (PSCS), Vergadain (On Hallowed Ground & FR Demihuman Deities), and reading up on some discussions about dwarves (particularly here: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthr...kingdoms/page3), I started designing Vergadain's Strongale Hall as an adventure site.

    Some ideas I've had so far...

    1. Song-riddles: Songs sung by the dwarven dead hide riddles to treasures and secrets about the inter-planar event the PCs are investigating.

    2. Merchant feud: PCs need info/help from either a trader or a buyer, but they're locked in a vicious feud which must be resolved before they can help the PCs. Buyer claims the trader glammered rusty weapons to appear masterwork, while trader claims buyer switched goods after purchase. Both claim "I did no such thing!" A cleric of Vergadain casts zone of truth, but declares both are telling the truth! Of course, trader and buyer don't trust the cleric after this...after all, how can both be telling the truth?

    3. Dwarven scams: Various dwarves might try to pull the wool over the PCs' eyes. One scam involves a chest enchanted with flighty chest (or a tamed mimic?) which a PC is challenged to open to gain admittance to thieves' guild of the Gilded Palm. When they get near chest it sprouts legs and runs off.

    ...those are the sorts of encounters I'm looking for.

    Anyone have other encounter ideas for the divine realm of Vergadain, dwarven god of wealth, commerce, non-evil thieves, cunning, and fortune?
    Last edited by Quickleaf; Wednesday, 16th July, 2014 at 03:44 AM.

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    I've been sketching out map ideas for Strongale Hall based on themes (gambling, drinking, trading, song/poetry), various dwarf architecture art, and this Diterlizzi image:



    So far my list of sites for Strongale Hall includes:
    1. Esplanade of the Divine Alewives (trading & microbreweries)
    2. Great Distillery of Everflowing Ale
    3. Gambler's Paradise
    4. The Golden Temple (doubles as a bank)
    5. Viaduct of the Merchant Princes
    6. Vergadain's Treasury
    7. Dwarven Mint
    8. Gilded Palm Thieves' Guild
    9. The Songhearth
    10. Drunken Guttar Inn & Stables
    11. Odzak's Emporium (trinkets and misc magic)
    12. The Wishing Well
    13. Clan Silverhelm Trading House (portal to Sigil)
    14. Rilkkaz Chasm (leads to Soot Hall)
    15. The Wanderer's Gate
    16. Ironridge Gate


    EDIT: I've also put together a list of potential creatures to encounter: dwarven petitioners (priests, merchants, scoundrels, "celebrants", einheriar), leprechauns, arcane, translators, messenger snakes, copper automatons, plumarch rilmani, foo dogs (as heavenly brak twan, dwarven tunnel hounds), lock lurkers, luck eater, aurumvorax, and copper dragon.
    Last edited by Quickleaf; Tuesday, 5th August, 2014 at 04:03 AM.

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    Encounter Table

    I've made lots of headway on detailing the adventure sites, but also wanted a random encounter table to handle the PCs wandering around or exploring unexpected areas. How should I fill the last entry on the encounter table?

    STRONGALE HALL ENCOUNTER TABLE (d12)
    1. Animated Statue (a caryatid column "Divine Alewife", a stone face "Merchant Prince", or a smiling golden Vergadain shrine statue)
    2. Arcane and Guards (blue skinned magic-trading giant seeks a particular magic item dwarves possess)
    3. Dragon (in human form with attendants with a specific goal; choose from: brass, copper, crystal, or steel)
    4. Dwarven Celebrants (drunken dwarves searching for misplaced McGuffin, opportunity for small stakes gambling and carousing for information...at the risk of a hangover situation)
    5. Dwarven Einheriar (warrior spirits being rowdy, a risk for PCs who snuck, tricked, or forced their way into the Mountain, opportunity for those permitted in the Mountain to drink hearty with einheriar to gain information...and risk hangover situation)
    6. Dwarven Hurndor (meet Vergadain's "priests who trade", but what's the conflict?)
    7. Dwarven Merchant Feud (resolve a seemingly paradoxical conflict between merchants to gain aid or supplies)
    8. Dwarven Proxy (choose one of the 4 dwarven proxies Vergadain has)
    9. Dwarven Scoundrels (get marked by dwarven cons/rogues, with chance to turn the tables)
    10. Haywire Translator (silver spheres usually act as Vergadain's messengers, but one affected by the Rift has gone haywire)
    11. Ironridge Refugees (normally this would be a meeting with other planar travelers, but with the Rift this signals conflict between Ironridgr refugees and dwarves who don't want them)
    12. Leprechauns (leprechauns playing mischief on the PCs, with chance to corner one into granting wishes)
    Last edited by Quickleaf; Thursday, 4th September, 2014 at 12:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quickleaf View Post
    How should I fill the last entry on the encounter table?
    What other creatures love wealth to the point of obsession?

    Spoiler:
    DRAGONS!

    Perhaps in their humanoid form for convenience. They might have an entourage of lieutenants and minions in tow as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TarionzCousin View Post
    What other creatures love wealth to the point of obsession?
    Yes, true enough!

    The dragons I've identified as being good matches for Dwarven Mountain are:

    Copper Dragons CG
    I have an ancient copper dragon named Yrzgemil as a bound guardian of Vergadain's treasury and rumored to be his lover. She became a bound guardian by losing a riddle match to Vergadain, so the story goes, and she is obsessed with learning new riddles. If a visitor to the Mountain entertains her, she might consent to a riddle game to let them examine one of Vergadain's treasures up close. She enjoys appearing as a dwarven women then transforming for maximum shock value, a trick she never tires of.

    Brass Dragons CG/CN
    As egotistical conversationalists, a brass dragon might come to the gambling tables just for the company and the opportunity to study diverse languages. Its meandering discourse could bore other gamblers to tears, sleep, or forfeit.

    Steel Dragons LN
    Fascinated by dwarven culture, history, art, and politics, a steel dragon might traverse the various layers of Dwarven Mountain in the guise of a dwarven scholar.

    Song Dragons CG/CN
    A Faerunian dragon that covertly adopts the guide of a mortal woman to live among the dwarves, and is gifted with beautiful singing voice, tongues, and true seeing.
    Last edited by Quickleaf; Thursday, 24th July, 2014 at 07:04 AM.

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    Hangover Situations table

    Taking a break from the serious adventure writing, I wanted to share a little tidbit of humor from the adventure that perhaps you can employ in your own games. Because its set partly in Dwarven Mountain's Strongale Hall, it only makes sense that PCs have opportunities to become piss drunk and awake in Hangover the movie type situations...

    Hangover in Strongale Hall (d12)
    1. A naked smarmy leprechaun named Dougal is in the PC's bed, waggling his bushy brows.
    2. A messenger snake reports to the groggy PC: Salutations! Goldrg the Crusher has accepted your challenge to wrestle and awaits you at the Drunken Guttar Inn to test your honor.
    3. A golden cat (luck eater) with splotchy blue paint on its fur licks at the PC's face.
    4. The PC's non-essential belongings are missing. Instead they have a dwarf's shorn beard, a candelabrum that is bent and acts as a club, and a trinket of Dwarven Mountain (another table, or roll on trinket table from Basic D&D PDF).
    5. Silver dwarven wedding band is around the PC's finger.
    6. Thirteen hungover dwarven merchant petitioners are stashed around wherever the PC is staying, stumbling out of closets or rolling out from under the bed at comical moments.
    7. Two coins are placed over the PC's eyes and they awaken in an open tomb not far from the rest of their party.
    8. A tattoo has been placed on the PC somewhere prominent. It depicts (roll 1d3): (1) a halfling pissing into a dwarven mug, (2) a bearded dwarven lady, or (3) a gnome working a dwarven forge.
    9. The PC's cot was tied to a Guttar (cave ox) and they've been dragged thru the hall in their undergarments,
    10. A baby dwarf in a fine wooden cradle giggles at the PC and gnaws on an empty tankard.
    11. The PC has foggy memories of gambling away something precious, yet they have all their gear... Was it their ability to tell a joke? The capacity for pessimism? Something more elusive?
    12. A tankard is suctioned over the PC's mouth and can't be removed until an hour passes, a delicate procedure, or magic is used to un-suction it.
    Last edited by Quickleaf; Friday, 8th August, 2014 at 11:37 PM.

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    Concept sketches

    I did some simple concept sketching to get a feel for Dwarven Mountain's Strongale Hall. I should sketch my D&D stuf more, I really enjoy it There are 3 halls in Dwarven Mountain, each a layer in the Mountain that is the size of a town. Strongale Hall is just the one highest up and the one that PCs are most likely to access.



    Next step: Making a map! Going to be challenging with the rock-carved buildings, viaducts and various levels! Probably will need to be isometric
    Last edited by Quickleaf; Tuesday, 5th August, 2014 at 08:20 AM.

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    Adventure background

    Q: The Tiefling wanted access to a treasure kept in Vergadain's Treasury. What was that treasure? And how did she tamper with it (or why did she want access to it without stealing it)?

    Adventure Background
    While I am designing Strongale Hall as an adventure site - meaning it can be used and reused by various DMs - it has a context in my own adventure. The PCs are in the midst of this disastrous planar Rift, and soon realize that the dwarves knew something about the Rift in advance because they've pulled back into the Mountain and tripled the gate guard. This background answers the question the players will be asking themselves: How did Vergadain (and by extension the dwarves) know about the Rift in advance? What did he know? And why didn't he warn the town?

    Before the PCs showed up, a tiefling gambler with no name came to the high-stakes tables in Strongale Hall, and she was cleaning up against the best of the best. Everyone was sure she cheated, but no one could catch her cheating. Her goal appeared to be a treasure (?) from Vergadain's Treasury. Indeed, she was leading so much that the dwarves brought the treasure (?) out from the vaults for her to inspect.

    However, the Tiefling bet it all and her fortunes reversed at the last moment, causing her to lose 25,000 gold pieces and several amazing items she had won. In a desperate bid to gain back what she'd lost, or so it appeared at the time, the tiefling bet a secret which would determine the course of Dwarven Mountain for centuries to come. It seemed a ruse, but the dwarven gamblers humored her, promptly winning again making the Tiefling bow out. Her secret was this: In three days a storm would come to Ironridge what would ruin the town's fortunes, but if the dwarves were ready would dramatically improve their own. Strangely, divinations seemed to confirm the tiefling's words.

    Suspecting the Tiefling to be up to no good, the proxies of Vergadain conspired so she could not leave Dwarven Mountain thru a variety of "circumstances." They never could have expected the massive treasure that the tiefling brought with her would turn out to be creeping coins! The most that any dwarf had ever seen! Distracted by dealing with the vicious little fake coins, the Tiefling used intelligence provided by a traitor within Dwarven Mountain to escape thru a portal to Sigil. Needless to say, the tiefling has earned the ire of the dwarves.

    In fact, the spectacle of the gambling match was all to get temporary access to the treasure (?) so the tiefling could do something to it. Her "friendly" warning was a careful manipulation to get the dwarves to close down the Mountain so that another agent in the Mountain - the dwarven cleric of Abatthor named Geleg Cragsveld - could undertake his own mission without interference or eyes from the outside. Both the Tiefling and Geleg belong to or are allied with a planes-spanning thieves' guild called the Arcane Eye.
    Last edited by Quickleaf; Friday, 8th August, 2014 at 11:41 PM.

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    Ways into Dwarven Mountain

    Accessing Dwarven Mountain isn't as simple as knocking. This is especially true with my own adventure using the setting. The dwarves are clannish and don't like outsiders unless they're established dwarf-friends or traders bringing good business or gamblers with too much gold than they know what to do with.

    So, this begs the question: How do the PCs get into Dwarven Mountain?

    There are 5 ways it turns out.

    • Challenge: The two gates, Ironridge Gate and Wanderer's Gate, are guarded by dwarven einheriar and an intelligent stone golem, respectively. If they think a supplicant for entry might be worthy, they can issue a challenge in three parts, and of the supplicant proves him or herself at all three, then they are granted entry. What are these 3 challenges?
    • Force: Foolish or brazen PCs with great force of arms (or overwhelming numbers) might defeat the gate guardians and force their way in. However this will draw a large force of 60 einheriar to repel the interlopers and demand to know what they want, not to mention getting cursed by a streak of bad luck within the Mountain. Usually a divine realm couldnt be accessed by force, but Vergadain is a notoriously laid back deity fond of adventurers and not likely to harshly judge evil as the more good-aligned among the dwarven pantheon might.
    • Negotiation: Dwarven Mountain is not an intensely lawful realm, and so the rules are more guidelines here, and negotiating entry to the Mountain is possible in a couple ways:
      (a) Paying an "honor price" which may be as simple as being a Dwarf with something to trade, to as complex as the guardian assessing a "soul worth" of the PC in thousands of gold.
      (b) Perform a quest for the guardian, such as rescuing a dwarven petitioner trapped in Ironridge or retrieving a missing/stolen Key of Vergadain.
      (c) Weave a very compelling argument appealing to the virtues of Vergadain and the other dwarven deities.
    • Stealth: The orichalcum mines near Ironridge have a secret tunnel leading to a fissure in Rilkazz Chasm which the PCs can exploit to bypass the gates altogether. However the orichalcum mines have their own hazards.
    • Trickery: PCs can use a decoy and/or disguise to distract the gate guardians, steal their Key of Vergadain, and use it to open the gate and slip within.

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